The Dead Don't Die ★★★★

I have never seen a Jim Jarmusch film before (something I need to fix ASAP) and given the negative reviews for this one I went in with low expectations, and as a result I was pleasantly surprised by what turns out to be the most low-key and deadpanned reaction to a zombie apocalypse quite possibly in the history of cinema, with a small-town under siege in what starts out initially as a homage to the works of mastermind George A. Romero.

The cast in this is absolutely stacked and watching everyone play off against each other - especially Bill Murray and Adam Driver in the central roles, was delightful and Tilda Swinton's character gave the film even more eccentricity than it had already. There are fourth wall breaks where characters discuss that they've read the script and know what's going to happen next, and Driver's character has Star Wars memorabilia on his key-chain in one of the more on-the-nose moments in the film. Supporting roles for Tom Waits and Danny Glover mean that this film could almost double as The Old Man and the Gun 2, and Iggy Pop playing a coffee-obsessed zombie will never not be entertaining, with the zombies replicating some of their desire for what they were interested in when they were alive.

The film seemingly sets up what could develop into potential romances but then subverts pretty much everything and goes in the opposite direction to what you'd expect, particularly when things switched the attention to Selena Gomez's character Zoe and her friends, who are hipsters who picked an unfortunate day to arrive in the small peaceful town that plays host to our core cast. There are a few unresolved plot threads but they were probably left intentionally unresolved, and whilst the movie isn't the most subtle about its take on the world and the state it's in right now, it does a good job at getting its point across, even if it takes some time and Chloë Sevigny in particular was largely wasted.

It's not really a traditional horror film and there aren't really much in the way of jump scares, which is a good thing - but don't expect it to be much in the way of traditional anything. Jarmusch plays against expectations nicely and it's worth a viewing at least once if you keep your expectations in check. And that Sturgill Simpson theme song (openly stated as being the theme song in the movie by the characters) is spectacular.

Milo liked these reviews