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Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

This is a film that piqued my curiosity from the moment it was announced. I remember following the production photos and articles released on ‘Bloody Disgusting’ all the way through to its release, yet for one reason or another I just never got round to taking the time to watch it. Let me just say now that I regret that as this has without a doubt now entered my top 5 zombie films without hesitation, and I have seen a lot of zombie films. Not only are the characters well cast but they are all extremely well written. I found every single one of them a joy to watch, whereas usually in a cast of characters in this age group there are one or two that don't quite carry their performance or are badly written with unrealistic character traits. The stand outs for me were both Anna and John played by Ella Hunt and Malcolm Cumming. These are both actors I haven't seen in anything prior to this but will certainly checking out there other projects in the future. Paul Kaye as the soon to be head teacher is also incredible. I genuinely think he is such an underrated British actor and has such a wide range of versatility when it comes to his performances. The songs and performances were actually really surprisingly good, I was expecting something a lot more underwhelming and almost a novelty rather than what it produced. The song Anna and John sing (Turning My Life Around) was phenomenal and played in for some hilarious moments as the characters are totally oblivious to what is unfolding around them - almost in a ‘dawn of the dead’ juxtaposition style scene. As much as I liked the music and performances and how much I like Paul Kaye as an actor, I did find his solo song effort to be the weakest and slightly irritating. I think this is more due to how impressive everything else was that came before and after it. I was expecting more of a showstopper performance and it just felt quite lazy and underwhelming, maybe just in comparison to the rest. Another thing I found genuinely surprising to me was that this film actually had an interesting and well progressive plot. For a musical set in a zombie apocalypse, I expected this to be a very linear and to the point. However, not only does this have a well-developed plot but it also has endearing sub-plots that actually go somewhere and have an impact on the story. The majority of these fall upon our second characters such as Chris and Lisa and their relationship and also the character development of Nick, Anna's ex-boyfriend. The cinematography was a really big standout along with the set work. This all looked extremely convincing and the director uses some very clever editing and filming techniques in order to piece together these framed scenery shots along with the close up conversational shots between our character. Adding into this some very impressive practical make up and gore effects for the zombies and this is an incredibly zombie film in its own right, regardless of the musical aspect that comes with it. I am genuinely amazed by how much I enjoyed this. I was very apprehensive about watching this as I was expecting it to use its musical aspects as a novelty in order to gain some curiosity from fans of both genres. Let me say that is not the case, not only does this take itself seriously as a zombie horror/comedy but it also takes its musical aspects seriously too. This is a film I have only watched once and already I am wanting to watch it again so I reckon this will now be a seasonal watch for me, meaning I am only disappointed in the fact that I can only watch this at Christmas.



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