Mixing horror and humor is no mean feat, but Shaun Of The Dead tightens throats in fear without making the laughs stick there in the process.
The pasty, scruffy Pegg shows a surprising amount of range for the unlikely hero of a zombie flick.
The movie bogs down and the humor seems to dry up, though the blood continues to well, spurt and spew.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
The cast make a cosy fit, the patter is still sitcom snappy, but Wright also has the visual snap to carry this saga of backyard apocalypse.
For those who don't mind a little laughter with their zombies (or perhaps it should be the other way around), this is an unusual source of entertainment.
| Original Score: 3/4
...the second half of the film is just a standard horror movie showdown with a few mildly amusing gags.
The movie has been running on shtick for so long that the attempt at drama rings hollow.
| Original Score: 2/4
Wonderfully original, fast-moving and funny.
If the zombie genre steadfastly refuses to die, we can be grateful to Shaun of the Dead for breathing fresh, diverting life into the form, with subtle visual humor and a smart, impish sense of fun.
Plays brilliantly with our familiarity with zombie genre (yes, I actually said that) convention.
| Original Score: 4/5
A wonderfully funny spoof of zombie movies ... and of the kind of life that can turn a man into the walking dead.
Transforms the unintentional camp of the zombie subgenre into full-on, hilarious comedy.
| Original Score: 4/4
Zombies or no zombies, this is the funniest film of the year.
| Original Score: 5/5
It's a dead man's party driven by inspired sight gags, witty repartee and likable, dare we say, cuddly characters.
A drop-dead-funny comedy.
| Original Score: 3/4
The movie's great joke never wears out its welcome: Many of the living are virtually indistinguishable from the undead.
It's a grisly but sweet ode to friendship, love and the George Romero zombie trilogy.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
It's intelligent, funny and utterly disgusting all at once.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Cheeky and unexpectedly charming.
Has its pleasures, which are mild but real.
A British zombie flick that works not because of the crowds of undead, but because the guy trying to exterminate them was himself running out of reasons to live.
Witty, energetic and appropriately self-mocking, cheesy fun.
| Original Score: B
Spiced with a healthy supply of jokes and enough gross-out gags to keep youthful audiences gagging happily.
By treating the genre as a joke, this satire, whose title plays off George A. Romero's 1979 golden oldie, Dawn of the Dead, yields ironic dramatic dividends.
| Original Score: 3/5
This movie is destined for cult greatness. See it now and you can say -- honestly, for once -- that you were there in the beginning.
| Original Score: A-
Zombie movies have been spoofed before, but this one lurches to the top of the list on the strength of its twisted British wit and oh-so-clever mix of laughs and horror.
I love George Romero's zombie pictures, and I love deadpan English humor, but I had no idea that the two would mesh as happily as they (mostly) do in Shaun of the Dead.
Its secret is the same one that keeps us interested in the better examples of the movies it pillories: The writers, director and actors make us care about Shaun and his friends.
Members of the cast, most of whom hail from British TV sitcoms, have crackerjack comedic timing, and their characters have been written so well you'd watch them with or without zombies.
There is gore aplenty for those who like to look at it, and a bounty of winking jokes for those who would prefer to laugh at it.
Makes the best use of zombies since Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video.
The filmmakers, clearly fans of the genre, have got the zom and the com parts down cold.
| Original Score: B+
Playing the stereotypical twentysomething everyman, Pegg has a disarming fragility that evokes a bit of empathy from anyone ever stuck in a rut.
The biggest surprise (and asset) here is Pegg, who imbues the slightly daft Shaun with a good nature and bigger heart, providing the film with a central figure you actually care about.
A smart, cultish, semi-disgusting homage to the fine British art of not bothering.
Taken on its own shaky legs it's a wittier genre coda than Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
Though I prefer the hard-core zombie scares of Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, Pegg and Wright -- who are rumored to resemble a real-life Shaun and Ed -- keep the blood and the laughs gushing.
There are certainly touches that only the homegrown crowd will get, but there's sufficient energy and scattershot horror movie references that it should please fans of gross-out humor everywhere.
Co-scripters Pegg and Wright structure it as a classic three-acter (set-up, journey, finale) with enough twists, character development and small set pieces to keep the comedy boiling.