Dawn of the Dead is a 2004 horror film directed by Zack Snyder in his feature film directorial debut. It is a remake of George A. Romero’s 1978 film of the same name and stars Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, and Jake Weber. The film depicts a handful of human survivors living in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin shopping mall surrounded by swarms of zombies.
PlotAfter finishing a long shift as a nurse, Ana (Sarah Polley), returns to her suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin neighborhood and to her husband, Luis (Louis Ferreira). Caught up in a scheduled date night the two miss an emergency news bulletin on television while having sex in the shower. The next morning, Vivian (Hannah Lochner), their neighbor’s daughter, enters their bedroom and kills Luis, who immediately reanimates as a zombie and attacks Ana. She flees in her car, but eventually crashes and is knocked unconscious after a bus driver attempts to hijack her car. A montage of news footage depicts zombies overwhelming civilization around the world.
Upon waking, Ana joins with Police Sergeant and former Marine Kenneth Hall armed with a 12 gauge tactical pump-action shotgun (Ving Rhames), Michael (Jake Weber), Andre armed with a 9mm handgun (Mekhi Phifer) and his pregnant wife, Luda (Inna Korobkina). The group breaks into a nearby mall where a zombified security guard (name later revealed as Ben Cozine) attacks Luda, who apparently escapes with a scratch. They are also confronted by three living guards—C.J. (Michael Kelly), Bart (Michael Barry) and Terry (Kevin Zegers)—who make them surrender their weapons in exchange for refuge. The group secures the mall, then heads to the roof where they see another survivor, Andy (Bruce Bohne), who is stranded alone in his gun store, across the zombie-infested parking lot…
Comparisons to the original
In the original film, the zombies moved very slowly and were most menacing when they collected in large groups. In the remake, the zombies are fast and agile. Many admirers of the original, as well as Romero himself, protested this change, feeling that it limited the impact of the undead. This is somewhat borne out by the fact that the remake has almost no close-up shots of zombies that last more than a second or two.
In the original version, the story unfolds over several months, indicated by the advancing stages of Fran’s pregnancy. In the remake, the events transpire within approximately one month.