Dawn of the Dead

126 minutes

George Romero's 1979 sequel to Night of the Living Dead is a more accomplished and more knowing film, tapping into two dark and dirty fantasies—wholesale slaughter and wholesale shopping—to create a grisly extravaganza with an acute moral intelligence. The graphic special effects (which sometimes suggest a shotgun Jackson Pollock) are less upsetting than Romero's way of drawing the audience into the violence. As four survivors of the zombie war barricade themselves inside a suburban shopping mall, our loyalties and human sympathies are made to shift with frightening ease. Romero's sensibility approaches the Swiftian in its wit, accuracy, excess, and profound misanthropy.

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