Review by Jason Donner
The words Horror and Comedy are two words that go well together. The two genres are like brothers, going hand in hand. Sometimes, ignorant of each others presence, other times working together like a well-oiled machine.
Of course, sometimes the two are completely absent despite a filmmaker's best intentions.
Zombieland represents the best possible marriage of these siblings - funny as hell one minute, scary as hell the next. This amalgamation of a zombie horror movie and a hilarious road comedy is probably the best paring of comedy and horror since Shaun of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead or possibly even An American Werewolf in London.
It has been a good long while since I've seen a movie be so funny, so suspenseful, and so scary, and look good while doing all three. Zombieland has taken a genre that appeared to only have one trick of its sleeve and has shown it how to pull a rabbit out of its hat and then make it explode, showing the audience with blood, fluff, and bunny parts. What a great film.
Woody Harrelson and Aaron Eisenberg are the heroes of this movie and I'm not talking about the parts that they played. Harrelson, a tough and distant badass plays his character which such a bravado that you have no real choice but to get behind the guy and root for him as the story goes along. When his tough exterior finally cracks in the movie, it's done in such a believable and human way that it instantly adds another dimension to him.
With Jesse Eisenberg, I do believe that he has out-Cera'ed Michael Cera with a deadpan and uneasy queasiness about him like he's ready to throw up at any time. However, instead of being a buffoon sidekick, Eisenberg's character has got things figured out. He's the horror movie fan in all of us who knows all the tricks like the monster is going to jump out at you if you check to see if it's dead or that you should always check the backseat before driving away.
I have to tell you, between Woody or Jesse, I would be hard-pressed to choose who I wanted to watch my back during a zombie apocalypse. Brawn or experience... it's the eternal and crucial question.
Zombieland is an amazingly well-put together movie; One of those movies that you don't see coming and it spends all of its runtime continually surprising you from a spirited and hilariously gory title sequence to a well-thought out set of rules, a holy search for a twinkie, and one of the greatest and most tragic celebrity cameos in years.
I hate to use the old cliché, but my wife even loved this movie and she hates horror movies. If she liked it, Zombieland has to have done something right. I would not be the least bit suprised if this ends up on my best-of list at the end of the year.