We are a culture obsessed by zombies, we are constantly inundated with films and TV shows focusing on these gruesome creatures. With the zombie genre there has now developed future genres of course there is the standard zombie horror but there is also romance and comedy. To be honest I don’t get the whole craze, zombies actually really freak me out and I don’t think they are as exciting as others do. Maggie seemed different though and with Arnie in a leading role I couldn’t miss this one.
Maggie is a zombie drama with elements of horror littered throughout the movie. The drama takes the forefront though and rightly so as the emotion that this drama carries is great. The film gives each of its scenes room to breathe and consequently allows the viewer to really consider what is going on. It’s never that emotional in its script but more so in the actions of say, an embrace between family members or a tear shed over a cruel reality. There is a horror element present too and whilst this won’t be a problem for most I felt it kind of inhibited the drama slightly. What I mean is because of the tension I sometimes found it hard to completely enjoy the drama as I was expecting a zombie to run up to a window or appear out of the trees at any moment. I suppose this showcases the strength of the subtle horror included and thankfully it does subside more towards the end when the drama once again takes centre stage, its just something I did notice as I watched the film. Strong drama and an uneasiness that would have been home in a horror movie, two positives but one maybe hinders the other just a tad – minor complaint though.
The cast perform well for the majority of the film. Abigail Breslin plays the title character, Maggie. She does a good job here and demonstrates well the torment that would come with this daunting transformation. Fresh from Terminator Genisys, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a much more demanding role in terms of acting ability and you know what he doesn’t do too badly. Arnie’s acting talents often come under scrutiny and I’ll be the first to admit that another probably more talented actor could have been cast here but would they have nailed the father figure role as well as Arnie did, I’m not so sure. They key thing about Arnie’s character, Wade, is that he is a loving father who wants to protect his daughter at all costs, he does this fantastically and for the film this is the most important so I’m more than happy with Arnie’s input here. For me his presence easily enhanced the drama and emotion of the situations. One other cast member stood out to me too, Bryce Romero who plays a relatively small role as Trent. Through this role though he manages to captivate the audience and his story was well written also helping to pace the film well.
Maggie is a great addition to the zombie genre, its almost a more mature version of last years Life After Beth. It works so much better and is definitely one for repeat viewings. The drama and horror work here and you are drawn into the story almost instantaneously through the performances. Arnie as the loving father was a clever move and this is surely a highlight of his career in recent years.
Rating – 8/10