The world being terrorized by blood-crazed maniacs and entire populations running around in blind terror is nothing new, and has been seen on screen countless times before.
But what director Marc Forster attempts in this apocalyptic psychological horror is something different.
A film that taps into our primal fears, Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator and seemingly happy stay-at-home dad whose family day out is brutally interrupted when the city of Philadelphia suddenly erupts into chaos as a full-scale zombie pandemonium ensues.
Something is causing hordes of people to viciously attack each other. A lethal virus spread through a single bite is turning healthy humans into zombies within 12 seconds of being bitten by an infected host.
Once Gerry, his wife Karen (Mireille Enos) and daughters Rachel and Constance (Abigail Hargrove and Sterling Jerins) escape the clutches of the zombies, they are immediately evacuated to a UN aircraft carrier, but their stay on the ship is dependent on Gerry assisting with the investigation into the cause of the plague.
With no choice but to comply, he accepts the task that takes him from Korea, Israel to the United Kingdom in search of the source of the epidemic. It’s then the action really begins as Gerry witnesses a global pandemic as the infected overwhelm the world’s armies and rapidly topple its governments.
A riveting high tension thriller about zombies and the apocalypse, it’s loosely based on the post-apocalyptic horror novel by Max Brooks called “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War,” and is much more thoughtful than your ordinary run-of-the-mill zombie movie.
There’s a lot of attention to detail, heart-pounding action, sweeping shots and shaky frame which all keep the adrenaline initially going and is sure to generate plenty of screams and shouts from audiences.
Visually dazzling with a plethora of special effects, the zombies swarm like roaches, hurl their bodies around, jump from corners, buildings and walls all head-first and scamper around each other. When they are not provoked, they are stagnant, slow and wandering, but once the feeding frenzy starts, it’s almost like a shark that smells blood and they swarm around their victims like roaches drawn by sound.
With zombie attacks on planes, helicopters, buildings, streets, offices and compounds, the scale of devastation is impressive and the stunts are carefully choreographed and enjoyable to watch. Particularly impressive is the stampede of zombies trying to scale the Israeli border.
An involving and genuinely scary epic, “World War Z” isn’t solely based on killing zombies, but more on human survival, finding the source of the infection and a cure.