- Don Ford
Don Reviews "Anna And The Apocalypse"
Christmas is coming, and with it comes those certain traditions. For me, I make it a habit of taking in “A Christmas Story” during its twenty-four hour marathon yearly on TBS, but I also know people who add other films to their holiday list like “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and “It’s a Wonderful Life”. There are also a debate as to films like “Die Hard,” “Gremlins,” or “Lethal Weapon” as holiday films, but there is a new one that has come along that can be seen as a holiday film for sure, with a twist.
“Notes” director John McPhail’s latest “Anna and the Apocalypse” stars Ella Hunt (Cold Feet) in the title role, a high school girl in the small town of Little Haven in the UK who hangs out with her best friend John (Malcom Cumming). Taking place about three days before Christmas Day during the school’s big Christmas show, a virus causes the Zombie Apocalypse, and Anna and her friends race to get to the school to reunite with their friends and families to escape.
The cinematography works well for this film, which features great work in the countryside of the UK. Along with that comes a good cast (did I mention this is also a musical?) that handles the original songs and acting in a way that was enjoyable but not mind-blowing.
With a feeling of “Shaun of the Dead” meets “High School Musical,” for me it felt like it was too much a take on the former of the two films. This would have worked more simply as a musical version of “Shaun of the Dead” instead of trying to make this its own story. I do appreciate the attempt to do something different, but it just doesn’t get all the way there. The original songs are good (especially the Santa song done during the Christmas show) and there is some decent comedy, but I simply wanted more.
I can totally see how some will make this a part of their holiday tradition in years to come (not the little ones due to the violence), but for me, I would see it again as a Redbox or Netflix viewing.