Sometimes a film will try to put a new spin on an old story or concept. We’ve seen it many times. The zombie genre alone has had a few new ideas in recent years, with Warm Bodies, Life After Beth and Shaun of the Dead all being alternatives to the survival horror we’ve seen many times. As you can tell from the films I’ve named, sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Maggie is a great of example of when this doesn’t work at all.
The set up is pretty interesting, a young woman is infected with a zombie virus (sorry, the Necroambulist virus), which will take between six and eight weeks to fully take over her body and mind. Her father tracks her down, brings her home, and is determined to take care of her for as long as possible, before the inevitable happens. Add Arnold Schwarzenegger into the mix in a role that requires only acting and (almost) no action, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was just a little bit interested to see how this one turns out.
Maybe there’s a reason most zombie films are survival horror, mixed with gore. Perhaps it’s because watching a depressed girl become more and more crusty in every scene isn’t very fun. Maybe it’s because having everybody that comes into contact with the father of an infected patient encourage him to shoot her is a tad depressing. It could be that seeing a film which has what is essentially the same scene over and over again (somebody getting emotional over the fact that she won’t be around much longer) is just dull. One more suggestion, a film with this set up was always going to be all pretence and no substance. Then again, all of these could be exclusive to Maggie. Especially that last one.
It would be unfair of me to not mention the few things this film does well. Arnie is alright. He’s not excellent, and you can see at times that he is trying very hard to act, but most of the time he does a decent job. The zombie makeup looks good. There’s some pretty decent set up of the world around the film, which is never actually explored. Damn, that turned into a negative… Sorry Maggie, I tried.
This is by no means the worst film you’ll ever see, it’s just so very boring, and completely unmemorable, and all of those other things I already said. Still, I appreciate that they were trying to do something different, and I appreciate that Arnie was trying to do something different, just next time, make it something different to this.
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