Monday, December 17, 2018

Movie Review: "Anna and the Apocalypse" (2018)

Director: John McPhail
Year: 2018
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

High school senior Anna and her fellow friends and classmates must fend off hoards of zombies just a few days before Christmas.

Anna and the Apocalypse 2018 movie
"Guess we're all having a bad day." (Image Source)
Christmas decorations, toe-tapping songs, plenty of laughs, and zombies...what more could you want from a yuletide picture? "Anna and the Apocalypse" is directed by John McPhail, who has one other feature to his credit in the 2015 rom-com "Where Do We Go from Here?" It is written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry, who sadly passed away before the film went into production. Anna (Ella Hunt) is just an average high school student trying to make it through her senior year in her small town of Little Haven. She dreams of traveling abroad and has even booked a ticket to Australia, much to her dad's (Mark Benton) chagrin. Anna also works at the local bowling alley with her best friend John (Malcolm Cumming). The two have a fun night after work and wake up the next morning feeling great, unaware that in the wee hours of the morning, the zombie apocalypse had started. Now, the two must team up with some fellow classmates named Chris (Christopher Leveaux) and Steph (Sarah Swire) to try and survive and fight off the oncoming hoards of the undead to get to the school where Anna's dad and Chris's girlfriend and grandma are sheltering for safety.
Anna and the Apocalypse 2018 movie
"Certain death is so much fun." (Image Source)
When we heard about "Anna and the Apocalypse," we were pretty excited to see what it was all about. We're not disappointed in the slightest. This is a movie is a mashup of "High School Musical," "Cooties," and "Shaun of the Dead" in the best way possible. It is loaded with poppy songs that are catchy, fun, and will leave you tapping your toes as you watch in awe of how awesome it is. The tunes cover songs about romance, finding your way, sexual innuendos about Santa Claus, having great days, and bashing the heck out of zombies. The story is simple, but it breaks the mold a with a few surprising twists and turns along the way. The cast is absolutely wonderful, and each and every cast member is able to really belt out a ditty! Some of our favorites include "Christmas Means Nothing Without You," "Hollywood Ending," "The Fish Wrap," and "Soldier at War." We were literally swaying back and forth in our seats to the music at one point. Don't worry, we weren't distracting anyone as we were in the back row, and sadly, the movie only had a small crowd.
Anna and the Apocalypse 2018 Christmas movie
"Christmas is fast becoming my least favorite c-word." (Image Source)
We have seen horror musicals in the past, and they have been hit or miss for us. "Anna and the Apocalypse" is one of the most entertaining movies of this genre that we have ever seen. This was such a delightful pleasure of a movie complete with heaps of blood, guts, jokes, and a surprising amount of emotional heft, something we did not expect at all. It is so well written. You actually get to know and feel for each of the characters and what they are going through, which makes the audience care whether they live or die. This is another Christmas flick that is sure to find its way into our regular holiday rotation. "It's That Time of Year," which is sung by Marli Siu, will probably make onto our annual Christmas playlist as well (in fact, it already has!). It's a shame that so few people were at our screening because this movie absolutely deserves a much bigger audience. Please don't sit on this hilarious horror, see it immediately!! (we're desperately trying not to spoil anything for you, so just take our advice and book your ticket to see it now...c'mon!)

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.5/10
RT Rating: ~81%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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