Uncovering Curiosities: John McPhail’s ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE
As a Christmas-zombie-musical-teen-comedy, 2018’s multi-genre straddling Anna And The Apocalypse could have gone either way (with the odds on totally disastrous). However, director John McPhail has managed to overcome these odds to deliver a charming film which impresses on all levels. You’d think that one of the movie’s many balls would be dropped, but McPhail juggles them all to deliver a film which will surely become a festive favourite for genre fans.
The small town of Little Haven is under siege from zombies and Anna (Ella Hunt) and her rag-tag group of friends must fight their way through the hordes in order to be reunited with their loved ones at the local high school. Along the way they face a myriad of dangers and discover a lot about themselves.
The zombie genre has been done to death, resurrected and then killed again, but this Brit-flick works because of good characterisation and really catchy songs (kudos to composers Toddy Hart and Tommy Reilly). Based on the 2010 BAFTA-winning short, Zombie Musical, Anna And The Apocalypse features a star-making turn from Ella Hunt as the young woman who might be the town’s only hope. Hunt is great as a singer and even better as an actress, so expect to see big things from her in the future. She’s surrounded by a colourful cast of characters – all of which make an impact. Paul Kaye is also fun as the villain of the piece (even if his motivations never quite gel).
Anna And The Apocalypse is a refreshing entry in the increasingly crowded zombie genre but it’s a little gem of a film that keeps surprising as it moves along. The acting is great, the songs are fun so you’d be one the walking dead if you didn’t come out of it wanting to see it again.