Anna and the Apocalypse

A zombie Christmas high school musical. Of course I made sure to screen Anna and the Apocalypse at the Telluride Horror Show! I was even willing to break my “No Christmas Until After Thanksgiving” rule for it.

Anna (Ella Hunt) is introduced just struggling through normal high school strife. She wants to travel rather than go to university. Her best guy friend is drowning in unrequited attraction to her. Her high school administrator is a tyrant on a power trip. It’s all so much that they just have to sing about it. Then the zombie apocalypse strikes right in the middle of the holidays.

Anna and the Apocalypse really feels like High School Musical (thought I haven’t actually seen it) meets Moulin Rouge with zombies and blood sprinkled on top. Beyond just the superficial appeal, Anna and the Apocalypse is well executed. Horror comedy can be an unforgiving subgenre. The horror and gore must be expertly balanced with the humor. The musical element adds another layer of complexity in keeping the audience engaged.

Yet, Anna and the Apocalypse pulled it off for me (and I dislike musicals as a general rule).

For the cutesy high school setting, the movie pulls no punches on death count. No character is safe, which is refreshing, and the gore level is a fantastic contrast to the High School Musical feel. Balance in extremes.

Ultimately, Anna and the Apocalypse is very funny and very violent, so it was all I could ask for.

 

Christina Bergling

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