The zombie genre is expected to hit a certain number of tropes and plot beats, and it typically involves a lot of blood and gore, as well as one member of the ensemble cast who gets bitten but decides to hide it from the rest of the group for as long as possible. Despite having some boxes that definitely need to be ticked, as one of horror’s most popular subgenres, it’s also incredibly malleable and open to interpretation.
In the case of Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, that manifests as a big budget action blockbuster. Of course, the filmmaker made his feature directorial debut on 2004’s Dawn of the Dead remake and has spent almost the entirety of his career since then crafting expensive studio projects packed with large scale action and splashy set pieces, so it’s a perfect meeting point for the two stages of his filmography to date.
The first full-length trailer looks pretty much exactly how you’d expect a $100 million Snyder effort about the zombie apocalypse to turn out, but Army of the Dead seems to be a whole lot of fun, so that’s hardly a bad thing in this case. And in a new interview, star Dave Bautista admitted that while it sticks to some of the genre’s established rules and regulations, it’s far from your standard apocalyptic story.
“It is a zombie apocalypse, but there’s so much going on so it’s not just that. I really think this is going to hit with people across the board. And also, it’s a zombie apocalypse film but it’s not over the top gory. You’re not taking the cheap way out where it’s just focused on the blood and guts and gore. There’s so many more layers to this film. It’s head and shoulders above your basic zombie apocalypse film.”
There’s some serious buzz beginning to build around Army of the Dead, which is just over three and a half weeks away from arriving on Netflix, and if it lives up to the potential of both the premise and the trailer, then we could realistically be talking about one of the best zombie efforts of the last few years.