Maggie Dir: Henry Hobson
Plot: A father watches over his daughter as she transforms into zombie. “Maggie” was a film that was on Hollywood’s Black List – a list of the best unproduced scripts during a calender year. Some see the light of day some don’t. This one caught my eye and when I heard it was getting made, it caught my interest. Then I hear Arnold was starring in it and it then got my attention!
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely RIchardson
Question:- Does The Black Listed movie live up to its status?
Reminder: I don’t see movies for free so ratings reflect if I felt I got my money’s worth.
Ratings: See It First Day; First Weekend, First Week, In Theaters, At Home, Don’t Bother
It’s not everyday that you see a major action movie star like Arnold make a independent film like this. I give him props for taking the risk, and I hope he does it again. This is not your typical zombie film. There’s no group of survivors, no huge action sequences, hardly any gore. It’s plot is quite simple: Wade Vogel (Arnold) takes his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) home after she becomes infected with a zombie virus (called a necroambulatoristic or something virus; as is usual nowadays the word “zombie” is never used. Instead the increasingly popular term “infected” is used). The infection usually takes six weeks to completely take over and the infected are quarantined in camps and allowed to “live” or perhaps exist is a better term.
We don’t see how it starts or any kind of effort to eradicate the virus or people fighting herds of zombies off. Wade takes Maggie home to look after her as the virus eventually transforms her into an infected. The movie itself is somber as Wade can only sit and watch as her daughter starts showing more and more signs of transforming. There are procedures in place for infected but sometimes people lock up their loved ones and ignore protocol. This leads to several issuses for Wade and a neighboring family. Don’t worry I’m not spoiling anything major, there is no twists or surprises. Just a father keeping a promise that he would look after his daughter, no matter what.
Arnold and Breslin (and Joely Fisher as Caroline Vogel, Wade’s wife) give solid performances. Seeing him like this I was worried I wouldn’t buy it, but he came through. This is a quiet stoic acting job that sees him in the various stages of him dealing with his daughter’s impending transformation. From being protective of her to helping her cope to finally accepting there’s no reversal for her, Arnold – Bravo.
Breslin delivers as she undergoes the transformation. It doesn’t happen overnight as it does in most zombie movies. She gradually accepts her outcome but like someone dying of a disease, she’s sad about it but does what she can to cope as the different symptoms begin to appear before she’s fully infected.
It’s a sparse movie, an anti-zombie zombie movie. No big set pieces, just a father on his farm coping the best he can as his daughter succumbs to the virus. Director Henry Hobson in his debut sticks to Maggie’s transformation and the various issues that arise. There is a jaunt in the middle of the film that deviates from that slightly but gives a glimpse later on how another family deals with their infected son. In a way he created a zombie movie you don’t see.
In pretty much every zombie film it turns into a fight for survival, but this one (and World War Z to a certain extent) focuses on another aspect of it. There’s no shoot outs no miracle cure – You comfort them and accept that there is no turning back.
Rating: See It: First Week – Not anything you need to see right away but worth making an effort to catch it in theaters, if only to see Arnold play something other than an action hero. I say first week because sometimes independent movies like this don’t last long in theaters, wait too long and you’ll have to wait to see it at home.
Rankings: I’m going to use this space to rank movies I’ve seen this year as a kind of tracking system.
Agreements/disaggrements welcomed. I can be contacted on Twitter @OwenTheTonk