In a world that has been overcome with an outbreak of a disease that turns its victims into zombies, Maggie is a teenage girl who has been bitten. Her father collects her from the quarantine wing of a hospital and takes her out to the country until she turns. The film focuses on the time leading up to her transformation.
Following in a long line of films trying to be quietly emotional and ‘indie’, Maggie ends up being as hamfisted and forced as most of the others. It’s so full of problems I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll start with the positives; it looks kind of nice. And now onto the negatives.
Arnie did not suit this role at all. I actually like Arnie, when he’s doing his typical Arnie roles. But he doesn’t have the right presence or abilities to play a character that needs to exude warmth and fatherly-ness. He also lacked chemistry with Breslin, who was also miscast. She is not natural enough of an actor, although she’s not bad, she is always putting on a performance rather than becoming the character. The rest of the cast was equally as bad. The characters weren’t particularly interesting either.
The script was very crap. The dialogue was ridiculously cheesy and wooden and forced. For a film trying so hard to be ‘quiet’ and subtle, it was about as loud and obvious as a punch to the face. It also focused too much on ‘big’ moments, rather than really looking at a young girl who is dying, or a young girl going through a transformation, or a father who is looking out for his dying daughter, it was just ‘here’s a bunch of snippets from a life that no-one actually has’. There is no emotional connection to anyone or anything.
Overall, the film tries too hard, but never feels genuine or real; instead, it comes across as manipulative and hammy. Maybe it takes itself too seriously, maybe it tried to be too appealing to the masses… I’m not sure. But it’s a poorly made movie, and it’s something that could easily slip in alongside films like Troll 2, but not nearly as entertaining.