Anna and the Apocalypse

Out Now On-Demand

Slaying it this Christmas.

When the zombie apocalypse hits the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - teenager Anna (Ella Hunt, The More You Ignore Me) and her high school friends have to fight, sing and dance to survive, with the undead horde all around them. Teaming up with her best friend John (Malcolm Cumming), Anna has to fight her way through zombified snowmen, Santas, elves and Christmas shoppers to get across town to the high school, where they'll be safe.

Trailers

Directed by

Comedy, Horror, Musical

107mins

Rating: R16 Graphic violence, offensive language & content that may disturb

USA, UK

This zombie musical Christmas movie is comprised of many cool elements, but sadly, none of them are done very well. It bounces along with a charming energy that's hard not to get swept up in at times, and I dig how weird it all is, but I wish its many shortcomings weren't so glaring. It's not funny enough, not bloody enough, and definitely not clever enough to really nail what it's going for.

Some of the original song and dance routines feature impressive choreography, but the music often veers into eye-roll territory. While this isn't the first zombie musical, there's still a novelty factor–albeit short-lived.

When the zombies start eating people and chaos reigns, there's a musical number following a main character leaving home and venturing through the streets while completely oblivious to the carnage going on around them. It's undeniably similar to Shaun of the Dead, and nowhere near as good. For a film with a solid amount of originality, that was disappointing.

While it's not trying to be a gore fest, it still would’ve been nice to see a bit more effort employed with the splatter. Around 90% of the zombies killed are dispatched with a blunt object that just means the actor jerks their head away and spits out blood when it's swung at them. Meh.

The biggest problem, however, is bad humour. The whole movie would be a hell of a lot more enjoyable if more of the gags landed. If you want to see a Christmas movie this silly season that has blood and swearing in it, this will do the trick. I really wanted to like this and I'm sure it'll click better for some viewers, but it elicited more cringes than laughs for me, unfortunately.

Collider

press

Slick and stylish, with moments of gore that are played for gross-out and laughs in equal measure. You will hum along, you will tap your toes, if you're a big softy like me, you'll cry, but you will definitely have a great time.

Screen International

press

McPhail, director of the care home-set comedy drama Where Do We Go From Here?, carries off a tricky mix of elements with brio.

Variety (USA)

press

"Anna" registers as more than just a throwaway novelty item thanks to simple yet highly effective emotional underpinnings.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

...a zom com that attempts to gnaw on something a little different.

Associated Press

press

[It's] charming, often clever, and unexpectedly moving, too.

New York Times

press

Like some features that originated as short movies, "Anna and the Apocalypse" never earns its longer running time.

Rolling Stone

press

Here's the holiday musical you're looking for - if, say, you like a splash of gore and a parade of flesh-eating zombies between musical numbers. Eat your heart out, Mary Poppins!

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)

press

Director John McPhail (Where Do We Go From Here?) keeps the story cracking along at a decent pace.