Review of the independent zombie-horror Maggie, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chloe Grace Moretz.
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So I went to book tickets to see Pixar’s new film Inside Out yesterday and while looking for times I noticed the new horror-drama, Maggie.
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and of course being a big Schwarzenegger fan, I couldn’t help but ‘squee’ in excitement as I watched the trailer – surprisingly though it didn’t show the traditional Arnie action spectacle; instead it seemed like a heart-breaking, thought provoking story about father and daughter. I was surprised this had managed to avoid my to watch list, and more to my surprise it was showing for less than a week (at my local cinema I might add). So I took a chance and booked tickets to see it that evening – and I’m so glad I did.
To sum up the overall story-line, there’s a zombie virus that has swept through the world, killing crops and infecting people in their droves. We join the story as the virus has been brought somewhat under control by quarantining people away from the general population. Unlike The Walking Dead (TV, 2010- ) and other zombie related films that almost see you turn into a zombie instantly, Maggie shows what happens when it takes around 6-8 weeks for the virus to take a hold of person.
Schwarzenegger plays Wade Vogel, the father of Maggie (played by Abigail Breslin), whose mother passed away years before – now living with his new wife and two children, one evening Maggie runs away from home and isn’t seen again until Wade finds her in hospital with a bite wound. Fearing losing his daughter to government quarantine, he takes her home to spend whatever time she has left, together.
It’s heart-breaking watching the deterioration of a young girl’s health and watching a father deal with this, knowing he will eventually lose her to the virus. There are hard decisions to be made and although it is a fictional virus, you can’t help but feel the pain for real-life families living with terminally-ill loved ones.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is great in this too. This is a completely different role for him, a completely different direction from his usually action-packed blockbusters, that usually see him fighting robots or defending mankind in some way. He plays a heart-broken father exceptionally well, portraying such love for his daughter in a subtle way that never once over powers the film and allows Abigail Breslin’s character to grow as the main focus of the story. Portraying such a cool character at the beginning, you see her weaken as the film goes on and moments of pure fear and regret are shown by a young actress who’s always been tipped for greatness.
Overall I really enjoyed Maggie and I think it is highly under advertised and underrated, as recent review have shown. The pace of the film is slow but steady all the way through but at no point does it feel like it is dragging. Beware, it’s a bit gory at times, but not unnecessarily so as we’ve come to see in Hollywood. Unlike a lot of zombie apocalypse films this has a feeling of reality attached to it – if there were such a virus, I believe that is exactly how the world would end up, though hopefully that won’t happen… hopefully…
Heck I went ahead and gave it 5 stars out of 5 because for me it didn’t let me down at all. It is a film that will pull at your heart strings while getting to watch a Zombie movie. Although it is a low budget indie film, the quality of the story telling and acting shows that you don’t need big money and big booms to make an amazing film.
I would highly recommend this!