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Dead Right

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While 28 Days Later succeeded because it subverted all the hoary cliches of the zombie flick, Shaun of the Dead succeeds because it exploits each and every one. The undead in this sharp British indie are as run-of-the-mill as they come, with that lolling gait, vacant expression and the occasional desire to, you know, disembowel live human beings. What’s truly original is how an average pub-going burnout, our hero Shaun (Simon Pegg), handles the unprecedented invasion of his London neighborhood. Director Edgar Wright (who penned the script along with Pegg) has fashioned a hilarious, tense and even occasionally moving film. Shaun teams up with an engaging cast of supporting characters to fend off the proliferating brain-eaters while trying to negotiate between his daft buddy Ed (Nick Frost) and his fed-up girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield). Juxtaposing shots of zombies and people in such a rut they only look like zombies, Wright even offers some clever commentary on the numbing effect of the modern workplace. But to suggest that Shaun of the Dead has lofty sociological aspirations would be a miscue. For while it is indeed a very clever comedy and romance, it also features a man being enthusiastically eaten alive at the local pub. The resurrection of Thriller‘s spirit is finally at hand. — Sarah Hepola  

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