Reviewed by: Robert Munro

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin in Maggie
"The pleasantly surprising performance of Schwarzenegger grounds the film with an emotional heft." | Photo: Lukas Ettlin

The zombie flick has undergone many incarnations, but the direction that Maggie takes is a a refreshing and unusual one, which is mostly successful. Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has tracked down his infected daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin), and seeks to care for her in the short time she has before she becomes one of the shuffling undead.

Bringing her back to the family home, a rural idyll, from the horror of a big city, Wade and his wife, Maggie's step-mom Caroline (Joely Richardson), try to provide some comfort to Maggie, whose bitten arm indicates she won't have long until her father will have a difficult decision to make. He can send her to a sanctioned quarantine area, before the police come and forcibly remove her to one, or terminate Maggie's existence in the most humane way possible. One hell of a dilemma.

Copy picture

The film's interest in the quiet hurt of this family drama may alienate those looking for a more traditionally gory rendition of the zombie picture. But the pleasantly surprising performance of Schwarzenegger as the caring father torn by the tough decision he must make grounds the film with an emotional heft. This is aided by the cinematography employed, which eschews bumps in the dark night for an almost Malickian (to coin a phrase?) visual style, with the camera roaming through the Vogel's wheat fields in perpetual dusk.

Reviewed on: 23 Jun 2015
Share this with others on...
Maggie packshot
A father struggles to do the right thing by his daughter, who is gradually turning into a zombie.
Amazon link


Tribeca 2015
EIFF 2015

Search database:

If you like this, try:

Warm Bodies
What's Left Of Us