Shaun Of the Dead (Edgar Wright,2004)

A quick review.

Shaun of the dead was the first horror film I ever watch and is the main reason I am obsessed with the genre. Therefore, this film has a special place in my heart.  For me this film is the perfect representation of visual comedy, thanks to the creative mind of Edgar Wright, who also directed films like Hot Fuzz (2007) and The Worlds End (2013) both starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  Edgar wright has the ability to make the audience laugh out loud, not from only the lines of the characters but through what is shown on screen.

Usually within comedy’s, particularly in disaster movies, one way to foreshadow a horrific event and provide a background to the audience, is to have the events shown on the news whilst the main characters watch or completely ignore, An example shown within This is the End (Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, 2013). However, if you wanted to use a technique to both provide information and create a laugh from the audience, you can use visual comedy.  This is shown when Shaun flicks through the channels, oblivious to the message that the audience is able to understand. Within this scene you can see Shaun flip between channels piecing together a message through very individual clips. For example the football, states “serious attacks” followed by the news “on people who are literally being” followed by a wildlife documentary “eaten alive”.

For me this is an incredibly unique way of communicating to the audience, whilst giving a comedic value.  This scene is also able to show the ignorance of our beloved Shaun (Simon Pegg), again shown when he manages to walk through the middle of a zombie infested street and buy a Cornetto….can anyone really be that hangover? Or just that blind?

Other examples of visual comedy within the film include, objects appearing and disappearing on screen, shown when Liz is on the phone to Shaun. Another example can be Actions in sync with the music, shown when the pub owner is being beaten whilst Queen is playing. As well as, dramatic lighting cues, shown when light reflects of the knife, when Shaun is cutting bread. However, the best part for me is when characters that are extremely similar to each other pass in a simple two shot mid shot.  Therefore, if you want to learn a thing or two about visual comedy, you should really watch a few more of Edgar Wright movies!


This movie is also fantastic at foreshadowing and subtle repetition, used to make you think “he said that earlier!” “I knew he was going to say that!” “You’ve got red on you”. An example of this is “next time I see him he’s dead” and the incredible scene of THE PLAN.

Making this film a continuous engaging art piece and is the reason that this is 100% my favourite movie of all time and will always be a classic British film.

Despite the constant use of creative modes of film making, the feature presents the idea that we are in fact zombies! By that I mean we are subjected to repetition in our everyday lives and not the fact that we all go around eating people. As during the beginning of the film everyone seems to be copying each other and all looking rather dead and exhausted but would you on a Monday morning? I mean I look like that most days. :/

Even though Edgar and all the cast and crew themselves are original, so are the weapons involved. Who would have though a record would make a good weapon in a zombie apocalypse, the toaster however, was not so effective.

shaun of the dead

On the other hand, despite this film being a horror comedy, it is also a love story aww … with zombies, what more could you ask for? It’s the perfect genre mashup.  Yes, our characters Shaun and Liz (Kate Ashfield) are going through a rough brake up; they go to Winchester pub every day and hang out with the same old people, Liz has never even met Shaun’s mum (Penelope Wilton). It was never going to work out .BUT add zombies to the equation, this might actually be an opportunity to sort their lives out.  However, despite this romance, we are not allowed to ignore the bromance of Ed (Nick Frost) and Shaun, it really is something else!

To sum up, this is basically a film for the history books and should be adored by all!

How have you not seen this!

Deathbyapril – April Ely.


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