Zombies are all the pop culture rage: films, books, TV shows, games, apps and even viral video clips of enthusiasts posing as zombies. Therefore, another movie about zombies might seem like beating the undead more dead. But Marc Forster’s latest remixes, reinvents and reboots the walking dead phenomenon like audiences have never seen before — World War Z is arguably the best zombie film since 1968’s Night of the Living Dead.
Brad Pitt is retired United Nations investigator Gerry Lane, who is called upon after an outbreak of “rabies.” After one bite, the victims reanimate into blood curdling, rage-filled, hungry killers in only 10 seconds. Forget the walking dead — these zombies are the sprinting dead, clawing away at their victims with eye-popping speed. The infection spreads to every corner of the globe … zombies in Philly, zombies in Jerusalem, zombies on an airplane — even zombies in the projects of Newark! No one is safe.
Innovative and terrifying, the superb script includes unexpected (and logical) twists, memorable characters — and is even more enjoyable than Max Brooks‘ book, which was written as a collection of interviews with no narrative voice. As the lead, Mr. Pitt is a pitch-perfect blend of movie-star cool yet the relatable family man on the run. His diverse supporting cast — some who vanish as quickly as they appear — help elevate the film to a human level, escaping the trap of bland, horror movie gore.
The true star of World War Z is the director, Marc Forster. The Paramount Pictures film required imagination and originality. Forster, who directed Halle Berry in her Oscar-winning role of Monster’s Ball, found new ways to scare audiences. Just when it doesn’t feel possible, the tension increases from frame to frame. Moving forward, it’ll be a difficult task for any other zombie film to match the cinematic roar of Marc Forster’s World War Z.
World War Z is in theaters Friday, June 21.