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Anna and the Apocalypse

A zombie horror-comedy with a lot of heart, Anna and the Apocalypse is the perfect grisly musical for the holiday season.

Have you ever thought, ‘What if Shaun of the Dead were a musical with teens instead of adults?’ If so, you need to see Anna and the Apocalypse.

Not easily classifiable as any one film genre, the film contains the laughs, the emotions, the tunes and the zombie kills that you’d expect after seeing the trailer or hearing the synopsis.

High schooler Anna (Ella Hunt) and her best friend John (Malcolm Cumming) wake up one day to realize that a virus has turned most of their town into zombies. They have no service on their cell phones, so they head to the bowling alley where they work to see if they can make contact with anyone. There they run into classmates Steph (Sarah Swire) and Chris (Christopher Leveaux), who are also hiding out and trying to make contact with the outside world.

Anna’s dad, John’s mom and Chris’s girlfriend and grandmother are all suspected to be stuck inside the high school from the Christmas show the night before, so getting to the school becomes the group’s mission.

Along the way, of course, there are plenty of obstacles, with a living villain in addition to the shambling zombies. The happenings lead to lots of action and even some touching moments of heartbreak.

While there’s plenty of gore (and some humor) in the kills, there aren’t many Zombieland-esque creative kills. But it doesn’t take away from the fun of the movie, especially since it’s a musical. The songs are catchy and it’s fun to see the range of solos and group numbers, plus the choreography becomes such a part of the story. And while it doesn’t feel like it at first, the Christmastime setting does lend itself to the fantastic feel of the movie.

Anna and the Apocalypse could easily become a holiday staple for fans of horror, comedies AND musicals — although it’s best for those who aren’t bothered by gore.

The acting is great, the songs and dances are lively, and the plot features so much story and character development that you don’t expect going in. It would be great to see more from the team who made this movie in the future, especially if they continue along this creative path.

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