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By James Whittington, Monday 9th December 2019 Anna and the Apocalypse Blu-ray Second Sight Films Certificate 15
Musical horror movies aren't a new thing. In fact, there's been far more than you first think such as Stage Fright (2014), Cannibal: The Musical (1993) and Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) and all became smallish cult hits. The problem with most is that sometimes the storyline suffers from trying to force as many songs in as possible. There's no such issue with Anna and the Apocalypse.
This wonderfully wacky piece of seasonal cinema has all that you'd want and more from a rom-zom-sing-a-long-com!
It's Christmas, is under threat from a zombie apocalypse, forcing Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But even zombies can't stop the teen drama: will Anna's best friend John (Malcolm Cumming) reveal his true feelings for her, or will her smug ex Nick (Ben Wiggins) win back her affections? And will she be able to repair her rocky relationship with dad Tony (Mark Benton) before it's too late? Along with exchange student Steph (Sarah Swire), star singer Lisa (Marli Siu) and her crush Chris (Christopher Leveaux), Anna soon discovers that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilisation falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other. Oh, and then there's the soon-to-be headmaster Mr Savage (Paul Kaye) to deal with...
Imaginative with a cast you just can't help but believe in, Anna and the Apocalypse is the zombie Christmas movie we didn't know we needed. Smart, with a bleak Midwinter sense of dread with some slight in the shade, the movie doesn't stick to the tradition Christmas format, meaning anyone can die in this movie! Ella Hunt shines as Anna, the confused but much-loved main player of the piece and is ably supported by a young cast, all of whom have incredibly bright futures ahead of them. As for the more mature cast, well Benton is always good value and makes sure he has the audience right on his side whilst Kaye chews up each scene with relish and delight.
The songs are catchy and memorable with more hits than misses and the effects are as bloody as you'd want them to be. It is slightly over-long in places and the odd piece of trimming wouldn't have gone a miss, plus there are a few of the background artists who seem to be a tad lost but these are very, very small niggles.
This new Blu-ray comes with a small but perfectly parcel of extras including the Theatrical and extended Cuts, Original short film 'Zombie Musical' written and directed by Ryan McHenry, Audio Commentary with director John McPhail, writer Alan McDonald, composers Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly, a brand new documentary featuring interviews with actors Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Ben Wiggins, Marli Siu, director John McPhail, writer Alan McDonald, composers Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly and producer Naysun Alae-Carew and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Filled with rotting heart, gout ridden toe-tapping tunes, and a good amount of raw gore, Anna and the Apocalypse is one of those movies that, on paper shouldn't really work but it does so and grabs its wild and wonderful plot by the ripped-out throat and runs away with it.
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