Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
Director: Christopher Landon
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont, Halston Sage, David Koechner, and Cloris Leachman
Zombies are everywhere. With the continued popularity of “The Walking Dead” television show, putting zombies in the living room on a weekly basis, this subgenre of horror is seemingly unstoppable. Thank early creator George A. Romero, director of the definitive zombie films “Night of the Living Dead”, “Dawn of the Dead”, and “Day of the Dead”, for making the lumbering hoards an intimidating and scary threat. However, there is another side to these films, a funnier and humorous side, which provides equal opportunity for a joke as it does for a gory scene. The zombie comedy has been done exceptionally well with films like “Shaun the Dead” and “Zombieland”, but amidst all the living dead saturation in entertainment these films are becoming more of a rehashed annoyance than a welcome indulgence. Though, just when horror fans may be thinking that the zombie comedy has been done to death, a film like “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” makes a splatter into theaters.
Ben (Tye Sheridan), Carter (Logan Miller), and Augie (Joey Morgan) are the only three members of a sorry excuse for a high school scout troop. Ben and Carter are hoping they will be able to ditch the uniforms after their final camp-out, an event to honor their friend Augie who is receiving a special badge. Ben and Carter are unexpectedly invited to a secret party by some upperclassmen but will need to ditch Augie in order to make the party. What the three boys are unaware of is that their night is about to be interrupted by the zombie apocalypse.
The first few minutes of the film don’t especially help the familiar genre appeal. The introduction is overly predictable, even a bit lackluster, but it establishes a small but visually stimulating reason to stick around…the use of gore. Though the scene is one of small enticement it’s enough to keep you from writing the film off. And still, even after this tedious introduction, the film takes some time before it finally finds its rhythm.
What ultimately gets the film moving is the cast of characters, a relative set of unknown actors with the exception of Tye Sheridan who shined in last years “Mud” and “Joe”. The camaraderie of the teenage boys and the raunchy high school comedy motifs work great throughout; Tye Sheridan has a natural, laid-back quality that makes it easy to connect with his character Ben while Logan Miller provides many of the quick witted one-liners with stinging effect as the sex obsessed Carter. Joey Morgan is also good as Augie; he plays the emotional anchor of the group, dealing with the loss of a family member and, at moments, the loss of his only two friends. Another bright spot is Sarah Dumont who plays a cocktail waitress tagging along with the scouts. Ms. Dumont provides a confident sexuality to the character, one that intimidates the boys but provides her with opportunities to display her tough characteristics.
“Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” is one of the better zombie comedy films this year. While it may not compare exceptionally well to the films that have come before it, for fans of coarse and crude humor and juicy amounts of bursting blood; this will be a film that will surely entertain.
3.00 out of 5.00