Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

anna and the apocalypse poster 2017 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Love genre mash-up movies

Needs a bit more tweaking and balance

Movie Info

Movie Name: Anna and the Apocalypse

Studio: Movie Studio

Genre(s): Movie Genre

Release Date(s): Movie Release Date

MPAA Rating: R

anna and the apocalypse brand new day ella hunt zombies

The worst part about Christmas is all the zombies

Anna Shepherd (Ella Hunt) has a lot on her mind.  She is graduating, secretly planning to travel for year, has a best friend named John (Malcolm Cumming) to is in love with her, and trying to get over the loss of her mother.  When Anna’s father Tony (Mark Benton) learns of Anna’s plans to not go to university, Anna tries to find a way to go anyway…unfortunately, this Christmas has a rather nasty zombie outbreak that could ruin her plans…and turn Anna into zombie battling apocalypse warrior!

Directed by John McPhail, Anna and the Apocalypse is a horror zombie musical Christmas movie.  The film is based on Ryan McHenry’s 2010 Zombie Musical.  It premiere at Fantastic Fest in 2017 and made a worldwide premiere in 2018.  It was released to generally positive reviews.

You take horror add musical numbers and set it at Christmas, you at least have originality.  I was interested in seeing Anna and the Apocalypse.  While the film is enjoyable, it also feels a bit unbalanced.

anna and the apocalypse frosty the snowman zombie

Now I know why I don’t really like Frosty the Snowman much

When you bring together a bunch of genres, you have to worry about balance.  While watching the movie, I felt a lot of similarities to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Once More with Feeling” and The Rocky Horror Picture Show which turned out to be inspirations for the musical.  The opening zombie musical sequence with Anna heading to the graveyard felt a little too close to Simon Pegg’s great Shaun of the Dead opening zombie sequence with him going to the grocery, but it could maybe be considered an homage.  The real challenge is putting enough horror and music in so it feels balanced.  I honestly think there needed to be a bit more music in the story to get this balance, but it still is fun.

The cast is ok, and I like Ella Hunt as the lead.  The male cast feels a bit generic comprised of Ben Wiggins (the bad boy), Malcolm Cumming (the good boy), and Christopher Leveaux (the geek).  I like Sarah Swire as Steph, but it also felt like her character just dips in and out of the plot.  Paul Kaye feels the most Rocky Horror Picture Show as the over-the-top principal.

anna and the apocalypse soldiers of war ben wiggins

Maybe he could have been Negan if he had some barbed wire on that bat…

The movie has the typical zombie issues.  The make-up is good, but with the “slow” zombies, the movie feels like the zombies aren’t really that threatening (one’s head pops off just by being hit by a seesaw).  The threat is overpower the characters and the zombies seem pretty weak and distracted.

Anna and the Apocalypse is an entertaining ride, and I could see it becoming a cult favorite over the years as a kitschy Christmas mash-up.  The much of the music doesn’t jump out but “Hollywood Ending” is pretty catchy (I think the movie could have been aided by some more Christmas themed songs).  With relatively success and a continued zombie apocalypse in the film, I could see Anna and the Apocalypse return sometime like Zombieland…Anna might fight and sing again!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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