[Movie Review] Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) ★★★★★

Anna and the Apocalypse is a wonderful zombie Christmas musical to bring that Christmas Spirit alive.

Anna and the Apocalypse is a zombie comedy horror Christmas musical that is a very unique and a wonderful rollercoaster of gory fun. With an endearing and very likable Anna, the film turns into a very likable story despite the over the top humor, the drama and the mayhem. It’s a great mix of different genres that are intertwined to create something fresh and new. The songs add value to the story and aren’t mere devices to embellish the story but each song has its own important part to add. In the end it’s a comical feel good movie that is bittersweet and offers tears and laughter and serves as a perfect Christmas watch. 

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Anna Shepard lives in a small town called Little Haven and she can’t wait to travel the world and leave Little Haven behind to the displeasure of her widowed father. But before she can celebrate Christmas a zombie plaque breaks loose and she has to find her way through all the zombie mayhem to save her father. She gets help from her best find John who has a secret crush on her and her bad boy ex-boyfriend Nick and her best friend Lisa and her boyfriend Chris. It’s going to be a survival full of song, dance, zombie mayhem, tragedy and sacrifice but above all full of hope and new insights.

Why you should watch it

Anna and the Apocalypse is an absolutely unique movie that certainly will bring a smile to your face. It’s a fresh take on the zombie genre and the songs and choreography are particularly in tune with the absurd and crazy events. On paper it feels like a weird mix but on screen it works wonderfully well to create something totally new and fun. Anna is a normal girl but a fresh character that is bubbly, brave and who wants to break free of her boring life. 

The other supporting characters form a great group around her. All different characters who aren’t as shiny as Anna but therefore serve as great sidekicks. Of course besides the zombies there’s also a human villain who has the perfect name for it Arthur Savage the principal of her school. He’s the embodiment of why teenagers don’t like school and the school system. He hates kids. And he becomes a caricature but that adds to the fun and comical vibes. 

The twelve songs are absolutely wonderful and they each have their own style and everybody has his or her own song and something to sing about. It starts with a full on Christmas song to set the mood in ‘Christmas Means Nothing Without You.’ Anna, John and Steph start their story with ‘Break Away to show that they each want to escape their situation. Then Anna, John, Lisa and Chris sing ‘Hollywood Ending’ about their relationships. Which is very catchy and fun. Followed by a lunch rap ‘The Fish Wrap.’  The hilarious ‘It’s That Time of Year’ is performed during the Christmas play. And then all hell breaks loose when the zombies show up and it all turns into an ironic and absurd day in ‘Turning My Life Around.’ ‘Humand Voice’ shows the group that they need people to withstand the chaos and fear that is spreading. Nick tells his story in ‘Soldier At War’ and shows his badass side to cause some zombie smashing and bashing. But Savage is the one who really went completely mad and takes prisoners in ‘Nothing’s Going to Stop Me Now.’ But of course Anna disagrees and answers with ‘Give Them A Show’ and defeats a horde of zombies to save her father. But her efforts don’t end in a happy ending and ‘I Will Believe’ brings some hope as does ‘What A Time To Be Alive.’

So these song aren’t just songs to embellish the movie but really add to the atmosphere and the story like a real musical. It adds fun and tragedy and hope to the story. While Anna is the shining center of it all. The humor and drama and the zombie madness is all well balanced out. It results in a very original and creative  zombie tale that also tells the story of a couple of teenagers with their own personal problems. And in the end the Christmas message is all about reminding yourself about what you have and to appreciate it before it’s gone. 

My favorite part

I love Anna’s character that is normal yet special at the same time. She’s the heroine of the story and love is what drives her to be brave enough to do some zombie smashing. But she also has to overcome a dominant patriarchal figure that makes her life miserable. All the songs were perfect and really added something extra to the story. The humor has some nice detailed comical scenes that are a joy to watch. But how it all fits perfectly together is the best part of the film. 


Rating: ★★★★★

Fun factor: ★★★★★

Gore factor: ★★★☆☆

Drama factor: ★★★☆☆

Originality factor: ★★★★★

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★

Cast and crew

Anna and the Apocalypse is directed by John McPhail and written by Alan McDonald, Ryan McHenry. It stars Ella Hunt (Anna Shepard), Malcolm Cumming (John), Sarah Swire (Steph North), Christopher Leveaux (Chris Wise), Marli Siu (Lisa), Ben Wiggins (Nick), Mark Benton (Tony Shepard) and Paul Kaye (Arthur Savage).

Duration: 93 minutes. Music: Roddy Hart, Tommy Reilly. Cinematography: Sara Deane. Edited by: Mark Hermida. Produced by: Naysun Alae-Carew, Nicholas Crum, Tracy Jarvis. Production company: Blazing Griffin, Creative Scotland, Black Camel Pictures, Parkhouse Pictures. Distributed by: Vertigo Releasing, Orion Pictures.

Check the trailer below

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