The masterful opening sequence and lengthy dinner scene give us an immediate feel for each character and dynamic and set the stage for the achingly beautiful and authentic family portrait/road trip movie to follow. The drama and comedy blend seamlessly together in favour of natural story and character development instead of cheap laughs and sentimentality. Life is hard, life is hilarious; it’s a dead relative and crushed dream one minute, a dance party the next. Perfectly written and performed.
The zombie-apocalypse setting here is mined for a truckload of blood, guts, and morbid humour. Eisenberg’s methodical, matter-of-fact narration creates a hilarious contrast with the savage goings-on, and his shy and paranoid Columbus paired with Harrelson’s rash Tallahassee makes for a fun duo that (predictably) teams up with two street-smart sisters. The plot is weak, but combine the film’s excellent horror-comedy with a short-lived Bill Murray cameo and you still have a very enjoyable romp.