Written by: Daniel Hadley
Directed by: Henry Hobson
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
The first thing that should be made clear about this movie is that it’s not a horror film, it’s a drama, a drama about a father who brings his terminally ill daughter back to her home so she can live out her last few days with her family. Go into the movie knowing that and you will not be disappointed when you don’t see Arnie slaughtering dozens of zombies with an assault rifle.
As a drama the movie is sadly nothing special. It’s well shot and well acted but the story is a dime a dozen and the zombie plague is placed in the background as the movie focuses on a loving father caring for his daughter as she begins to die. The performances are all very good, even Schwarzenegger. I always Knew he could act he just never really needed to, as none of his movies ever really tasked him to give a real performance. Maggie does and he handles the task well.
The movie has a very slow pace and aside from two short scenes there is hardly any zombie action to speak of. Most of the movie shows a young girl coming to terms with her own inevitable death, and Abigail Breslin is very good here. She is a very talented young actress and her scenes with Schwarzenegger are some of the best parts of the movie as they have good chemistry, you can really see the love in these scenes. I really bought these two as father and daughter and that helped the movie a lot as the whole thing really hinges on their relationship.
The main issue that holds this movie back is that it doesn’t really go anywhere, nothing really happens. Its individual scenes are handled very well but that is all this movie really is: a collection of scenes, each one showing the various stages of acceptance and the grief that comes with it. I commend Hobson for handling the Zombie sub-genre in a very realistic, serious and heartfelt way, he’s clearly a skilled filmmaker and I hope to see more from him, but with Maggie he has made a movie that is far too simple to really leave any kind of impression. It’s a good movie certainly but not a great one.
If you want to see a simple movie that deals with loss and grief in a heartfelt and touching way then give Maggie a look. If you want to see a horror movie with ravenous flesh eating hordes being brutalized by a muscle bound action hero then look elsewhere.