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:: Zombieland

As a general rule when comedy and horror collides it is a good idea to run for the hills (the ones without eyes) and hide until it’s gone, but with ‘Zombieland’ that rule goes right out the window. In fact ‘Zombieland’ even out does ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ and certainly deserves to be mentioned among some of this year's best films.

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is one of the small number of people who have managed to survive a worldwide zombie outbreak… he sums it up by declaring, “this is no longer the United States Of America, it is the United States Of Zombie”. Columbus has survived this long because he has a set of rules he follows as he tries to head home to see if his parents have survived the onslaught. Along the way he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a rough nut who has discovered he is an expert zombie killer. When they team up with the untrustworthy, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), they realise the only way to survive is to try and work together.

The writers of ‘Zombieland’ are clearly talented. Each of the characters are three dimensional in that they all have personalities and quirks of their own… there are no one-dimensional cutouts to be seen. And while the story probably could have gone further there is enough suspense, humour and even a few touching moments to keep the film chugging enjoyably along. The fact that the team have managed to incorporate both horror and comedy without letting either side lack says a lot about their ability… so many have tried this and fallen well short.

Director, Ruben Fleischer shows a lot of potential as a director. He brings a great ‘style’ to this film that is new and inventive. Even small things like having the various ‘rules’ appear throughout the film (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it) is a small stroke of genius. It was a risk but it works amazingly well. He is also well backed up by his cast. While all are very good Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are standouts. Eisenberg is certainly an actor on the rise, he was what made ‘Adventureland’ such an enjoyable film, and here in ‘Zombieland’ he once again plays ‘the lonesome loser’ to a tee. And following up from his standout performance in ‘2012’ Harrelson has once again shown Hollywood that he is worth considering for any of the quirky roles out there.

‘Zombieland’ is one of the big surprises of the year. I’d be lying if I said that I was looking forward to this film, I was convinced it would be bad, really bad. Instead I was pleasantly surprised. This is one time where the comedy/horror crossover works amazingly well, and I’m proud to say that this is one of my films of the year.