Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
Interstellar Review
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Simon Pegg
Nick Frost
Bill Nighy
Dylan Moran
Penelope Wilton.
Directors
Edgar Wright.
Screenwriters
Edgar Wright
Simon Pegg.
Running Time
100 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Case Against 8, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Sacro GRA
4 Star Empire Rating
Set Fire To The Stars
3 Star Empire Rating
Remaining , The
3 Star Empire Rating
Possibilities Are Endless, The
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Shaun of the Dead


submit to reddit


Plot
Shaun, a North London loser, is a disappointment to his girlfriend, family, friends and flatmate. Only his mate Ed, an even bigger loser, looks up to him. Then flesh-eating zombies overrun the city and Shaun is forced to take responsibility for the survival of his corner of humanity…


Review
Somewhere out there is a movie graveyard for the careers of British comedians — successful in home entertainment — who died a death trying to make an impact on the big screen. For every break-out Peter Sellers or John Cleese there are a dozen disappointments, as national institutions such as Morecambe and Wise, Smith and Jones, and… um, Cannon and Ball land with a thud.

In Shaun Of The Dead, director-writer Edgar Wright and star-writer Simon Pegg — plus many of their mates from the innovative Channel 4 sitcom Spaced — spin off a Resident Evil sketch wrapped-up inside five minutes in one episode into a whole feature.

This is a rare TV-to-film transfer that retains the things you liked on television but still comes on like a proper (if low-budget and shambolic) movie. A difference between American crazy comedy and the British variety is that Hollywood always puts out pretend losers as leads — in Bruce Almighty, for instance, we’re supposed to accept Jim Carrey as a failure, though he has a job on television and is living with Jennifer Aniston; Pegg’ s Shaun watches a lot of television and is living with a friend from college
who hates the friend from primary school who’s on a permanent visit.

The point is not to make you feel good, but to prompt laughs of horrified recognition that we really are like that. The basic joke is that Shaun stumbles zombie-like through his regular life, not paying attention to the Night Of The Living Dead crisis taking place in the background, but shapes up when society falls apart and, though still essentially useless, becomes the best chance his friends have to survive (most of them, it’s fair to say, don’t).

It’s a workable premise and the early scenes, with unnoticed zombies on buses, working checkout tills or snogging in the street, are creepy-funny. But the film gets impatient (especially in two or three awkward ‘serious’ bits) and eventually winds up down the pub, with beer on the table, inappropriate music on an apparently malign jukebox and hordes of zombie flesh-eaters hammering at the doors as idiot Ed (Nick Frost) tries to cheer up his just-dumped mate with, “It’s not the end of the world.”


Verdict
A surprisingly good TV transfer for the Spaced crew. It may not exactly be Ealing, but it’s funny for long stretches. Even when in danger of self-destructing, it cadges laughs with smart lines, silly observations or blokish inside jokes about zombie movies, video games and pub nibbles.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Shaun of the Dead
Empire Star Rating

RE: Shaun of the Dead

Everything I think about this film has been said. To me this is the best british comedy film (Four Weddings and a funeral can eat my arsehole). It is definatley my favourite comedy film. One thing I got chessed off at, was I was telling my mate* how funny this film was, and I lent it to him, when he gave it back I asked what he thought of it, and he said it was shit!!!. I asked why, and he said it was too white???   *Who is Asian ... More

Posted by BatFan at 00:36, 30 December 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Shaun of the Dead

great little film, with the only gripe being that it doesnt balance itself too well at times in terms of comedy/seriousness, but its just a minor gripe. Stands up well to repeated viewings. Nick Frost is the star of it for me. "its not hip hop, its electro" 4/5 ... More

Posted by boot at 23:09, 29 December 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Shaun of the Dead

Absolutly quality film with a cracking soundtrack and some laugh out loud moments, my other half watched it and thought it was rubbish but it's blatently a blokey film, anyone who has actully stayed up all night playing tekken will love it! Timeless quote: "I'm going down the shops, do you want anything" "...Cornetto" ... More

Posted by macca_c86 at 11:04, 29 December 2006 | Report This Post


Shaun of the dead

Very enjoyable film. However it thinks its funny when its not. Thats not to say none of its funny though. Fun and silly mayhem. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by solid snake at 19:19, 04 December 2006 | Report This Post


Best British Movie Since Trainspotting

A superb script crammed with great dialogue, gags and ideas. The mix of horror and comedy (and "'serious bits'", Kim) works perfectly (the final punchline is a great example); and the performances are also spot on. This film wil last. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by badsanta at 01:22, 05 August 2006 | Report This Post


Absoutly brilliant!

This film... WOW!!! No words can really describe its amazingness!!! It was a rom-com-zom really! It had romance for the ladies, comedy for the Jim Carrey's out there and blood and cuts for the men! IT WAS JUST AN AMAZING FILM! If I ever meet Simon Pegg I will shake him by the hand and say well done! Anyone who doesn't like this film at all should be shot dead on site! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Empo at 10:17, 03 May 2006 | Report This Post


Genius!!!

The Best Film Of 2004 and One Of My All Time Faves. Thats all there is to say. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by PaulJohn at 01:09, 01 May 2006 | Report This Post


Fine film from the boys from Spaced ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cujo at 12:56, 30 March 2006 | Report This Post


RE: shaun is dead good!

Shaun Of The Dead...well, what can I say other than this film is brilliant!!   I was pleasantly surprised after seeing this at the cinema, this is a vintage British comedy. Every character is played to perfection, from Nick Frost's lazy unemployed slob Ed, to Bill Nighy's strict dad (not dad, STEP-dad).   The film is full of quotes and one-liners that will be etched in the memory of comedy lovers, like the repeated line "You've got red on you".   SOTD takes a lot of i... More

Posted by johndoe at 15:34, 02 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: shaun is dead good!

Possibly the best British horror movie to come out in years. And possibly the best British comedy to come out in years.   The more I watch Shaun of the Dead, the more I love it. Never has a film demanded more repeat viewing as this. And each time it never fails to make me laugh and wince in equal amounts.   It’s pure Pegg and Wright genius, each line is spot on and each shot is spot on. The real hero of the film is Nick Frost, who I’d never really thought about before, but he ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tbird at 15:19, 02 February 2006 | Report This Post


RE: shaun is dead good!

been a Spaced fan for years, I knew this would be brilliant and every aspect of the film is dripped in fan culture and modern referencing.t=verdana] often don't mention the emotional core at the heart of this film, the scene in which Shaun is wondering whether to take out his mum is heart breaking.p; ting is excellent, the pacing, acting, everything about this film is amazing. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JIm R at 14:31, 02 February 2006 | Report This Post


shaun is dead good!

one of the very few films i saw in 2004 and i only saw it to pass some time til my dentist appointment and boy did it entertain me! the guys beating the pub landlord up to queens 'dont stop me now'. comedy genius!! its just a shame there arent many decent british comedys out there now shaun seems to be one of those rare films. and it also proves bill nighy and simon pegg are two unbelievably underrated actors. killer film!!,but i hated the ending though. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sweet at 20:26, 02 January 2006 | Report This Post


Previous page

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
'Today The Pond… Tomorrow The World!'... The 50 Silliest Horror Movie Taglines
Be afraid - or possibly not actually...

Marvel's Infinity War - What Does It All Mean?
Gods! Gems! Gauntlets! We explain it all...

Empire Meets Mike Leigh
On Mr. Turner, 007 and liver in lager

World War II Movies That Win At History
Seen Fury? Here’s what to watch next...

The 25 Shatneriest William Shatner Moments Of All Time
Prepare. For. Many. One. Word. Sentences.

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Scares
Monsters, ghosts, horrible old ladies: the scenes that have kept us hiding behind the sofa for the last 25 years. Warning: contains spoilers.

Empire's Interstellar Review
Read our official verdict on Christopher Nolan's science-fiction epic

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)