If an R-rated genre film written by James Gunn and directed by Zack Snyder was announced in 2021, it would be an understatement to say that the internet would be in real danger of collapsing into itself. However, there was plenty of skepticism when it was first announced that the duo would be remaking zombie classic Dawn of the Dead almost 20 years ago.
Which was entirely fair, when George A. Romero’s 1978 original is held up by many as the single finest example of zombie cinema there’s ever been, whereas Snyder was a relative unknown helming his first feature film after working in commercials and music videos, while Gunn was best known at the time as the guy who wrote Scooby-Doo.
Seventeen years later and Dawn of the Dead is still Snyder’s highest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes, so the dream team clearly got a whole lot right. A fast-paced, frenetic and relentless thriller laced with blood, guts and gore, the sprinting undead added an extra sense of urgency to the proceedings, even if the characters were typically one-note.
Dawn of the Dead hauled in $102 million at the box office on a $26 million budget, and elevated the careers of its writer and director to a new level in the process. With Halloween fast approaching, the horror title has been mounting a coincidental charge up the HBO Max most-watched list as per FlixPatrol, where it can currently be found closing in on the Top 20.