Review: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
Matt GlasbyReviews | 04 November 15
Movies shouldn’t be made with their marketing departments in mind, but sometimes a new release comes along that makes you wonder just who the hell it’s aimed at. As the unwieldy (and weirdly apostrophe-less) title suggests, Christopher Landon’s busy horror-comedy is happy to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. But is it a sweet-natured ode to maintaining the old fashioned values of scouting (knot-tying, hooting like an owl, latent homoeroticism) in the face of disaster? A CG gore-fest for newbies unaware of its many antecedents? Or a gross-out gag-athon full of sluts (their word, not ours), strippers, topless zombies and wearyingly fratty sexual politics?
That’s quite a load for any film to carry and you can practically hear the strain – not to mention the last-minute rewrites – as ordinary teen Ben (Tye Sheridan, so good in Mud and Joe), his horny friend Carter (Logan Miller) and nerdy tag-along Augie (Joey Morgan) try to juggle scouting and sex while a zombie infection ravages their hometown. Can they stay alive, get to the party and save the girl before it’s too late, or, more to the point, they get sued by the makers of Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead?
Although the young leads try their hardest, and there are a couple of throwaway ideas (some zom-cats, a zombie in a YOLO T-shirt) that raise a smile, mostly the gags are as tired as the genre, which at this point, has been done to death – and beyond.
Although, like many Netflix offerings, it can feel inconsequential.
Those with no interest can just keep walking.
There’s plenty to recommend in this increasingly paranoid sci-fi three-hander.
The idiosyncratic script, direction and style are all very English.
Apart from a few interesting wrinkles, this finale is business as usual
Nicholas Hoult gives a dignified central performance.