The Horror Honeys: If John Hughes Cast a Zombie Movie...

If John Hughes Cast a Zombie Movie...

A Guest Honey Review from Chassity

Zombie Night (2013)

Okay, so here’s a little secret about me: It took a very long time for me to come to terms with zombie films. Maybe it was my short attention span. Maybe it was the repetitiveness of the zombie films I’d seen back then. But for whatever reason, for years this horror fanatic never really appreciated the zombie genre. In fact, I avoided them as much as possible.  It took a long time before I was able to realize that I had been missing out, and that not all zombie films were the same. In fact, a lot of them were better than the slashers I’d loved so much since childhood. 

There were two films that I hold responsible for this change, two films that gave me a respect and love for the genre. I’m going to talk about just one of them: Zombie Night.

Zombie Night is one of those films that is so bad, it’s good. I know it’s practically a cliché to say that now, but it’s totally applicable here. 

Let me start with the best thing about the film, the element that drew me to Zombie Night in the first place. The film stars Anthony Michael Hall (or, at least, that’s what the top billing would have you believe), and also features Alan Ruck. Now, here is where I have to confess something: I am an extreme, ridiculous fangirl of the Brat Pack, or more specifically, any male who was in a John Hughes teen movie. Alan Ruck and Anthony Michael Hall are two men at the top of that list. So I initially watched Zombie Night because of my love for AMH, and was pleasantly surprised to see Alan Ruck appear as well. 

It shouldn’t be surprising that Alan Ruck was the best thing about this movie. His acting was so subtle compared to everyone else’s, and he took a film that was ultimately somewhat ridiculous and made his character seem rooted in reality, a voice of reason, and completely believable. 

Anthony Michael Hall wasn’t in it as much as I expected him to be, and his contribution to the movie was mostly his hotness factor, along with him trying to be (and, ok, sometimes succeeding at being) a badass. 

The other thing I enjoyed about Zombie Night is actually the same thing that detracts from it. No time is wasted. There are none of those introductory scenes where we meet a main character and see what he or she is like prior to the arrival of the zombies. No: it takes less than five minutes for the zombie attack to begin. 

Further, there is no plot development and no character development- but then again, there really didn’t need to be. The fact that we jump in right as the zombie invasion is starting made me feel almost as helpless as the characters in the film. No information is really given on where the zombies came from, who the people are that they’re attacking, or if there’s any way to stop the attack. 

A major problem with Zombie Night was the same thing that ends up being the problem in a lot of horror films. Because the movie moved so fast, and went right into the attacks, it’s impossible to root for any given character to stop the zombies or just to stay alive, as you’re not given the time to learn anything about them. The zombies are truly creepy, and there is obviously an inherent element of fear based on the zombies themselves, but you don’t get scared when the zombies are stalking any of the characters because they mean nothing to you. 

Plot? Don’t even waste your time thinking about it. This movie is literally just scene after scene of zombie-fighting, with moments in between of the characters trying to heal their wounds. Alan Ruck’s character does try to bring some heart to the film and has a few moments of conflict with the other characters, but that’s about it. 

What I did love about this movie was that it was fairly gory. There were a few scenes that actually made me feel physically sick, and the blood splatter on each character when they’re destroying one of the zombies was completely eerie. 

Zombie Night is basically a really intense, fun, action-based, mostly generic, zombie film. And personally, I don’t see anything wrong with that.