There are probably hundreds of zombie films out there, and some of them don’t quite hit the mark. But 2009’s Zombieland is everything you’d want and more from this brilliant genre.

An unlikely group of friends / Picture Credit: Columbia Pictures

An unlikely group of friends / Picture Credit: Columbia Pictures

Zombieland has a stellar cast with Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin; all four actors do a wonderful job at playing a rather dysfunctional yet loving family.

Columbus (Eisenberg) is startled when an attractive student barges into his dorm room, panicking about a crazed man trying to bite her… After Columbus offers her a drink and a place to rest her head, he wakes up to realise that she’s gone from pretty, to flesh-eating and angry.

Once he realises what’s going on, Columbus quickly writes himself a list of rules he must abide by while travelling in what he calls Zombieland; these rules pop up on the screen when mentioned in creative and amusing ways.

As our lonely character attempts to make his way to Ohio, where he hopes he will find his parents, he comes across Tallahassee (Harrelson). Tallahassee is more or less Columbus’ opposite: he does not enjoy the company of other people and will sometimes go out of his way to kill a zombie or two.

Tallahassee and Columbus / Picture Credit: Columbia Pictures
Tallahassee and Columbus / Picture Credit: Columbia Pictures

After realising they’re heading in similar directions, the two team up until closer to Ohio. However, after going into a grocery store the two are confronted by Wichita (Stone), who says her little sister Little Rock (Breslin) needs help.

The sisters swindle the men and steal their car – only for the guys to catch up with them later down the line. All in all, the group decides to stick together until they wind up where they want to be; the girls are headed to what they’ve heard is a zombie-free theme park, Columbus to Ohio, and Tallahassee to Florida. But will they really want to part ways?

Zombieland is without doubt one of a kind in this genre. Even the opening credits stand out all on their own; rock music plays over slow motion scenes of the apocalypse unfolding, with people running for their lives and the undead taking over the world.

The movie also stands out due to Eisenberg’s amazing character, Columbus; his rules on survival seem silly but play a huge part in the film, rules such as ‘Double Tap’ and ‘Limber up’ are followed to a fault, and even the text that pops up on screen mimics Columbus as he pursues these rules.

Additionally, the humour between these characters is truly brilliant; while Wichita and Little Rock try to live by their one rule, that being that they only need each other, Wichita still has a soft spot for the nerdy Columbus. Tallahassee also has more to him than the group know, and actually reveals his story to them, developing his stone-cold character.

The action-sequences are also what sets this film apart from the rest; they are concise, fun, and always work so well and flow brilliantly while making it seem effortless and un-practiced.

Columbus' worst fear - a zombie clown / Picture Credit: Columbia Pictures
Columbus' worst fear - a zombie clown / Picture Credit: Columbia Pictures

Despite all these characters having their traits and personalities that make them who they are, being in a group (amidst a zombie apocalypse) really makes them open up which allows for pure comedy and humour where, in real life, maybe there shouldn’t be any.

The way the characters bounce off one another is simply brilliant, making for a more enjoyable ensemble of unlikely friends. However, there is so much more that makes this film as brilliant as it is; the zombies all look fantastic, and the storyline is perfect as it rather simple, therefore allowing many twists and turns to crop up during the movie.

When the group explore abandoned places or head to the area of Hollywood that hosted the rich and famous, they really adhere to one of Columbus’ rules; ‘Enjoy the little things’, which is a much needed and wholesome part to this otherwise comedy-soaked feature.

Zombieland is the perfect film night choice; the jokes between characters are clever and witty, the plot is so perfectly thought out and leads to an excellent ending, and the aesthetics of the movie itself are just brilliant – what more could you want?

Check out the trailer for Zombieland below!

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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