Review: Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse

Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.

This was a movie that I expected very little from and hadn’t heard much about apart from seeing the trailer once and yet this may turn out to be the horror film of the year and whilst that isn’t the greatest accolade in a year where the horror output has been so dire, this really stands out about the rest.

Kicking off in a lab as a cleaner finds a not quite dead body which erupts into the events of the film as the local town becomes infected and attacked by a zombie outbreak. Sounds silly and of course it is, we are in a part comedy and part horror movie after all but what works for me in this movie is that they get both of them parts absolutely spot on. Our three lead scouts you really grow to love as the movie plays out and it shows that this movie was made by someone who knows their horror movies, clock the HADDONFIELD 40 on the road sign for example.

I really can not recommend this movie enough to you all, it is rare that you get a horror-comedy that works well but this does. It’s funny, fast paced, loads going on, a very funny script and yet beneath it all there is a zombie movie with a beating undead heart. There are things you will see in this movie that you never thought you could possibly imagine a zombie ever doing but I don’t want to say too much as it will only spoil it for you.

Please go and see this film as I am sure you will love it. Part INBETWEENERS, part STAND BY ME mixed with a damn good zombie movie, how could it possibly go wrong. Yes it’s rude and crude in places but so what, you will laugh I promise.

When you think of zombie films you may think they’ve been done into the ground in just about every which way you can think of. From the classic Romero series – which set a mega precedence for the sub-genre – to the hugely successful The Walking Dead, there aren’t many more original routes to take. However, Christopher Landon’s quirky and entertaining feature which sees scouts taking on the flesh-eaters is authentic in its own way. Although it will never quite hit the mark of the aforementioned, it certainly has a few tricks of its own to delight and entertain.

It begins with best scouting buddies Ben (Tye Sheridan), Carter (Logan Miller) and Augie (Joey Morgan) as they prepare for their last camp out in the woods. The night suddenly takes a dark and unexpected turn when the boys learn their town is being taken over by zombies and realise that it’s up to them – armed with some truly inventive weapons – to save the others before it’s too late.

Landon’s feature wastes no time in getting going and certainly delivers on thrills, chills and lashings of humour. The three stars share heaps of chemistry and impeccable comedic timing onscreen. Tye Sheridan is charismatic as the closest to a protagonist – Ben and goes from being shy and sensible to brave and endearing by the end. Logan Miller is the confident and slightly arrogant of the trio which he plays well and Joey Morgan is also impressive as Augie, the more sensitive-natured soul who really steps up to the mark at the end.

The kills are inventive and refreshing and as it turns out there are many intriguing and rather hilarious ways to kill a zombie! The pumping soundtrack works really well against the narrative and the effects aren’t too shabby either. This appeals to a wide audience and should go down well with fans of the horror-comedy hybrid genre and is merely easy entertainment that you can let wash over you. It’s by no means perfect; the young adult humour does get a tad repetitive at times and there are some cringe worthy, exaggerative moments that are unnecessary but overall for a film that centres on scouts and zombies, this is pretty darn good!

There has been a slew of GREAT horror comedies in recent years made by smaller studios and independents (What We Do In The Shadows & Dead Snow 2 are being two of the real highlights). So hot on the heels of the release of Cooties, comes the Scouts Guide to the Apocalypse.

I had really high hopes going into scouts guide, really high hopes for a total balls-out horror comedy. While it wasn’t what I had hoped it would be, it was Ok but certainly wasn’t amazing. I certainly enjoyed the film but it wasn’t anywhere near what I had expected to see.

The opening scene in the laboratory is brilliant, highlighting the films comic timing, and while the slapstick gags aren’t new, they are timelessly funny. After the great opening, the film tumbled somewhat.

My biggest disappointment with Scouts Guide is the notable lack of jokes in this horror comedy. The gags on screen themselves are GREAT. Pretty much all of them land perfectly, and I found myself (along with the group I was with) laughing out loud repeatedly. There just is too few of them, it felt that they were spaced around 5-10 minutes apart all the way through the film. It’s not like one lands every 10-20 jokes – they just aren’t there in the first place. David Koechner shows up as ‘Scout Leader Rogers’ and pretty much nails the character. However it is the comic timing of Joey Morgan (making his film debut) that is the stand out performance here.

On the horror front the film is relatively a generic story. But thanks to the actors involved a relatively fun one. If this was played straight (and very easily it could have been) then it probably been an instantly forgettable affair (upon leaving the cinema I was quite down on the film) but thanks to the comic timing of the cast it will stay with you and make you chuckle for a while.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is out at cinemas now. 




98 thoughts on “Review: Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse

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