Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Review: Anna and the Apocalypse, which is bonkers

Ella Hunt in Anna and the Apocalypse

Anna and the Apocalypse, a 2017 Christmas movie you can see again on Prime Video, is a zombie musical comedy. It’s a nutso mashup of styles. It’s funny, it’s gory, and it’s not a Hollywood ending.

Anna and the Apocalypse takes place in a small town high school. Anna (Ella Hunt) is a high school senior. She and her best friend John (Malcolm Cumming) are riding to school with her dad (Mark Benton) when she explains she doesn’t intend to go to college. She wants a gap year to travel in Australia. This doesn’t go over well with Dad.

At school, amid singing and big dance production numbers, we meet some of the other high school kids. There’s Steph (Sarah Swire), who has just been dumped by her girlfriend. There’s Chris (Christopher Leveaux). There’s the world’s worst headmaster, Headmaster Savage (Paul Kaye).

On this day, life seems normal. Kids are making out in the hallways, practicing for a school play, and generally being kids. One of their big production numbers is a song about how real life doesn’t guarantee love and real life doesn’t come with a Hollywood ending. Talk about foreshadowing.

By the next morning, a plague – no, an apocalypse – of zombies are on the loose. They’re everywhere. They’re infecting everybody.

Christopher Leveaux, Ella Hunt, Sarah Swire, and Malcolm Cumming in Anna and the Apocalypse
Sneaking through a hoard of zombies by hiding under a plastic pool. Okay, lame idea.

Anna and her friends fight back as best they can with baseball bats, teeter totters, bowling balls, and giant peppermint sticks. The battle is long, gory, and isn’t going well for the humans.

Ella Hunt and Ben Wiggins in Anna and the Apocalypse
Anna and Nick (Ben Wiggins) down to the wire

Toward the end there are very few humans left to continue to fight. What will happen to them? Can they get away? That’s an open question. But Merry Christmas. Let’s sing something.

What can you say about a film as crazy as this? You’ll either love it or hate it. I thought it was wild and funny. Have you seen it? What did you think? Is it something you’ll watch again every holiday season?

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