Maggie is a horror drama directed by Henry Hobson, following the story of Maggie, a girl infected with a disease that slowly turns people into zombies, meanwhile her father Wade chooses to stay by her side as long as possible in the hope of saving her, the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Douglas M Griffin.
Maggie is a very interesting film and a small character driven drama and in terms of its tone, it’s pretty much the inverse of The Walking Dead, no explosions, no zombie hordes or gratuitous killing here, but zombies are in the world and a real threat to people, who deal with loved ones who have been infected in varying ways. The story is great in making a world in which the virus is almost believable, people with it are quarantined, dealt with by authorities, while everyone else is forced to come to terms with the virus and and reacts to it differently, you get the feeling of a world like our own, not overrun by zombies but with a serious issue nonetheless.
And in that, the story brings an interesting, different take on your traditional zombie story, while the plot specifically has a feeling of inevitability about it with Maggies situation but even in knowing that, you want her to survive and almost feel like Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) can somehow do something to save her. The performances in the film are strong with a surprisingly soft side to Schwarzenegger presenting himself, he’s pretty good in the role, an obvious change for him, bringing a measured, stoic portrayal of a father trying to save his child, while Abigail Breslin is great as Maggie, conveying the fear and anguish of her being in that situation.
The films’ components work really well in building up tension as things go on and Maggies condition changes, without being overly crude or gory, the film works with less being more, we all know what’s happening to Maggie and what will eventually happen but that underlying tension in the build up to that is pretty terrifying. The deaths in the film aren’t really shown, further emphasizing the weight of dying in the story, far removed from audiences being used to seeing zombies being mowed down in their droves in zombie action movies, the shots in the film are often slow and purposeful as well, working well to build up tension.
This works in tandem with the films soundtrack and seriously, some scenes are pretty terrifying, that ominous feeling of things to come lingers in a few scenes and builds up to a very high level and even though the film is more drama than horror, it’s probably the scariest film I’ve seen this year. Everything also works well without there being any real action either and a character drama about turning into a zombie surprisingly works well without being crude, violent or cliché, Maggie is a well made film that makes you think a bit, subverting traditional zombie fiction and it’s a great outing in the sub-genre.
. Interesting imagining of a world plagued with the virus
. Film works well with some strong performances
. Some very gripping, tense scenes