Review: Anna and the Apocalypse
DVD & Digital HD: Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
The zombie/musical/horror/comedy/teen angst genre is limited in size to say the very least, and within this genre Anna and the Apocalypse stands proudly at the top. However, each individual section of this amalgam of genres doesn’t fare so well when viewed independently.
Anna and the Apocalypse tells the story of the titular high school student Anna and her friends, who dance and sing their way through a zombie apocalypse that is happening as their school Christmas play is being prepared, all the while trying to reunite with family and friends that they have been separated from.
My problem with Anna and the Apocalypse is that it bit off more than it can chew (pun intended). The songs not only vary in quality from the ‘ear worm’ variety that you will be humming days later to the completely forgettable, but they also vary in tone from a funny double entendre filled song about Santa Claus, to an angst filled song about survival that is delivered as flat as a pancake. Some songs have added visual flair (a highlight being killing zombies while singing), while others just have people standing or sitting still while looking awkward.
The blood and guts are also a mixed bag, with cgi and practical effects combined to varying degrees of effectiveness. Sometimes convincing, sometimes not. Sometimes going for a quick laugh, sometimes trying to tug at the viewers heartstrings.
Therein lies the problem (for me at least) with Anna and the Apocalypse; it tries to be too many things, but fails at all of them. I have no problem with mixing and matching genres, but please try for some consistency within them. I would have preferred to go for more comedy with the songs and gore, or go the other way and ditch the comedy and make it more about creating empathy for the characters and the situation in which they have found themselves. As it stands, I didn’t care who lived or died…despite however sad they tried to sing in the following song.
Anna and the Apocalypse is a visual and audio buffet where there are treats to be had, but unfortunately the filmmakers decided to put everything onto your plate, mix them up, and then hope that it would still be palatable.
There’s definitely something for everyone in Anna and the Apocalypse, but is it enough of what you want?
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