07 September 2015

MAGGIE (2015)


USA, 2015
Director: Henry Hobson


"Maggie", the feature debut of Henry Hobson (who previously directed various segments of the 84th Annual Academy Awards!), is a zombie-drama, set in a dystopian America where a viral disease infects people and slowly transforms them into undead-like cannibals. The movie follows Wade Vogel, a father searching for his daughter Maggie who disappeared a few weeks ago. He finds her in a hospital's quarantine wing, already infected and under the care of doctors. Despite the doctor's advices, Wade decides to take Maggie back home to spend the time before her final transformation together...

The basic idea behind / basic premise of "Maggie" is somewhat more interesting than the actual movie itself. I mean, a zombie film with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine"), made on a budget of only about $4 million, that (almost) ignores the horror to focus on the father-daughter relationship and the story's dramatic aspects... the minute I heard about it, I was intrigued and completely sold on that premise.

Unfortunately, "Maggie" doesn't live up to its premise, which, thinking it over, isn't actually that great. It's just great because... well, it's Arnie in a low-budget zombie film... we don't get to see something like that very often. "Maggie" also doesn't add anything new to the post-apocalyptic zombie genre, and it also doesn't offer anything really impressive. It's just another end-of-the-world movie in the vein of recent similar-looking dirty post-apo flicks à la "Stake Land", "The Road" 
or "The Day".

Camera work and cinematography are stunningly gorgeous, making the movie often look like my beloved "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning"
- no wonder, same cinematographer (Lukas Ettlin). Arnold delivers one of the strongest acting performances in his entire career, and even though his dialect still sucks, it's simply amazing seeing him acting in such a gentle and surprisingly restrained way. There's also some excellent-looking make-up (though nothing groundbreaking), and many carefully chosen, wonderfully bleak locations.

As for the negative, the movie is WAY too slow and tedious. I understand that director Hobson cared more about the mood and atmosphere, which is okay in my book as long as the pacing is fine, but with a movie like "Maggie" which is already gloomy and depressing as fuck, the pacing should have been at least a tad quicker and much more intense (slightly similar post-apo movies like "Carriers" or "Stake Land" did that sooo much better!). Guess what? Yup, "Maggie" ends up pretty dull, at times tiring, at times dead-boring. I also couldn't do much with Breslin (that girls is probably the definition of a hit-or-miss actress) and her weird character, the wonderful Jolely Richardson gets wasted in a mini-role as super-unlikable and completely expendable stepmother character, and although the climax is pretty great, it almost gets destroyed by the very last scene, a ridiculuos and dumb scene that might work for some, but totally didn't work
for me at all.

So, all in all, an okay movie that could have been sooo much better. It's not bad, but it's not good either.


  1. Nobody says it's all that great, but just for making this movie as a drama and letting Arnie star - I will check it out one of these days.

    1. If you're a fan of Arnie, you definitely have to see it.


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