From director Joe Dante of The ‘Burbs, Gremlins and Small Soldiers, Anton Yelchin is Max who after regretting moving in with his girlfriend, she is killed in an accident but then arrives at his door as a zombie. With Santa Clarita Diet recently having taken a stab at the zombie comedy, it felt the perfect time to take a look at this comedy, horror, romance hybrid. Also starring: Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario and Oliver Cooper.
There’s at no point going to be a claim that this is an example of cutting edge cinema, it’s immediately clear that this the vibrantly colourful modern generation version of the B-Movie. The only exception to that quality is the ever charming and sweet Anton Yelchin as a strong lead, yet fairly weak character that’s almost reminiscent of his character in Fright Night but taken in a vastly more ridiculous direction. As the film begins with his relationship with Evelyn (Greene) pre-rotting flesh stage, she’s the stereotypical pushy and demanding girlfriend, little do we know she’s going to become even more annoying after she’s dead. It’s fairly predictable with over the top acting, with the only new addition being the gross consequences of trying to live in a dying body. Despite the fact that on the other hand, Daddario provides the ideal girlfriend for Max as Olivia, she struggles to be particularly convincing and again it’s coming from a very clichéd idea.
The film does fully embrace the gross-out elements of zombie-ism and uses it well, it can be slightly cringe-worthy but it manages not to go too far. It’s difficult to say too much about the story without revealing it as it is particularly simple but it’s not intended to be complicated, it’s focused on being something fun. There are some good comedic moments to go with that but unfortunately they’re not very consistent and the film definitely could have benefited from a stronger presence of humour.
It’s a lively and colourful film with a silly charm that’s enjoyable to watch but it doesn’t have too much more to offer. It’s the perfect film for a quick laugh, gross-out moments and the joyful Anton Yelchin, simply put it’s an unusual little romance.