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Anna and the Apocalypse

John McPhail

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After receiving its world premiere at Fantastic Fest in 2017 and its UK premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival earlier this year, Scottish director John McPhail’s eagerly awaited Christmas-musical-high-school-zombie-comedy finally arrives on our screens. Filmed in Scotland with a large cast of engaging young actors, this is a film which keeps it tongue firmly in its cheek.

"...an irreverently self-assured, self-aware slice of British film-making fun."

Anna (Ella Hunt) is a regular teenager who dreams of escaping life in her humdrum Scottish town, and with graduation looming, it's clear that life for her and her friends is about to change. What they can’t predict, however, is that along with the usual snow and freezing temperatures, Christmas this year brings with it another, more unexpected, seasonal change; the rise of the undead.

Filled to the brim with catchy songs by Scottish musicians Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly, this is a zombie film like no other, and the cast carry off the audacious combination of genres with real charm and wit. Filling out the adult roles are character actors Mark Benton and Paul Kaye as Anna’s father and her head teacher respectively – both of whom very much get their moment to shine when it comes to song-and-dance numbers. Balancing laughs along with gore, the film takes time to draw each of the characters, allowing every member of the cast to shine. And with references to classic horror films throughout, this is an irreverently self-assured, self-aware slice of British film-making fun. 

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