Maggie (2015)★★★★☆


I liked this movie a lot. I was surprised at how much I liked it. I was surprised at how much I liked both Abigail Breslin and Arnold Schwarzenegger in it, in particular. I’ve seen them both in many things but never really considered either of them great for scary movies.

Then again, this isn’t really a scary movie. It’s a sad movie. It’s a zombie movie. But it’s not really scary, and that’s okay.

If you’re thinking to yourself that this is probably another movie focused on family, grief, and loss, then you know me pretty well already. It’s about all of those things, and about accepting that you can’t fix everything. In many ways the story reminded me of The Returned, which wasn’t bad since I liked that movie so much as well. The basics are a little different between them but they both focus on a healthy protagonist and an infected loved one.

While The Returned focuses on the fight for survival and hope for a cure, Maggie’s focus is a bit more grim. There’s no hope for a cure or even for treatment, and this bleak hopelessness bleeds into every corner of this film. But it’s not just sad. Yes, the grey skies and muted colors throughout emphasize the melancholy feel of this movie, but what really shines through is just how much Wade cares for his daughter. The ending is heartbreaking but you’re eased into it by the pacing of the film, so it somehow feels okay.

For a directorial debut, this is really spectacular. The cast is outstanding (really, everyone is fantastic in this), the special effects believable but not ostentatious, and the music just beautifully done. This is a sad movie, but an interesting one, and one that somehow doesn’t leave me feeling sad afterwards. It may not be one of the scarier movies I’ve seen, but it’s definitely one of the better ones.