ZOO is a new zombie movie that works surprisingly well. The entire plot takes place inside one apartment but we’ve seen this work before. Also, the story doubles as a relationship drama. Sound weird? It is at times, but in some great ways! Read more in our Zoo review here.
Zoo is a new zombie movie that’s unlike anything I’ve seen before. Not just because it also has elements of a romantic drama and only plays out inside one apartment. No, mostly because it doesn’t feature much humor and yet, it really does work.
Afterall, the relationship twist worked well in Shaun of the Dead because humor drove much of the plot. And in The Night Eats the World, we also saw the story play out almost entirely inside one apartment. Both of these movies worked extremely well and Zoo doesn’t quite live up to either.
Still, it is very much worth watching for a different take on the zombie stories we’ve seen so many of. Check out the rest of our Zoo review below for more.
Singular location to focus on characters
As mentioned in the introduction to this review, Zoo is hardly the first zombie movie to focus on a singular location. We even saw the zombie horror-comedy series Bunkheads (Amazon Prime Video) uses this as a plot device. Still, the best example for me is The Night Eats the World, which I would highly recommend.
And if you’ve already watched that zombie movie and liked it, then do check out Zoo as well. When a singular location is used, it enables the storytelling to focus on the characters which is something I always prefer.
Also, the elements featuring the relationship drama does include some humor, but mostly it’s just dark and sad. It does get better though since a zombie apocalypse brings people closer together. Otherwise it would have been a very long movie.
Officially, it’s a horror, comedy, drama hybrid but I would say it’s mostly horror drama with some dark humor for good measure.
The small but brilliant cast of Zoo
The only way for a movie like Zoo to work, is if you have the right cast. With just one location, the plot is completely dependant on its characters working. For Zoo, we have a small but brilliant cast that works extremely well with what they’re given.
Zoë Tapper stars as one half of the couple in this story while Ed Speleers is the other half. Put those two together and the whole is actually so much more than the sum of its two parts. They play wonderfully off of each other and their dynamic is evolving throughout the story.
You may know Zoë Tapper from the Netflix sci-fi series Nightflyers. If you’re a fan of the fantasy romance series Outlander, you’ll no doubt know Ed Speleers from this. Other than Outlander, Ed Speleers has been in Downton Abbey and the 2015 horror fantasy movie Howl. Also, he was in Lars von Trier’s latest movie The House That Jack Built about a serial killer.
Watch Zoo on demand now!
Antonio Tublen wrote and directed Zoo. He is a Swedish director, screenwriter and composer who made his first feature film with the Danish production company Zentropa. You may know Zentropa because they produce all movies by iconic Danish film director Lars von Trier. Antonio Tublen is a truly fascinating director who I’m sure we’ll see a lot more from in the future.
Even though Zoo is in English and takes place in the United Kingdom, it is actually a Danish and Swedish co-production. Obviously, being native Danes here at Heaven of Horror, we had to check it out. If you’re not a fan of foreign movies (i.e. movies not in English), then don’t worry, you won’t even notice that it was made by Danish and Swedish production companies.
I would, however, say that Zoo does maybe feel a tad too long. Nothing much, but just enough to make me wonder how much time was left. It’s nothing that I would hold against it, but maybe the pacing should have been a bit tighter towards the end. However, as far as the actual ending of Zoo goes, I really did enjoy it!
Zoo is out on all the major VOD and Digital HD platforms such as iTunes and Amazon Prime Video now!
Director: Antonio Tublen
Writer: Antonio Tublen
Stars: Zoë Tapper, Ed Speleers, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Jan Bijvoet, Lukas Loughran, Klaus Hjuler, Danny Thykær
A couple try to save their marriage during a zombie apocalypse.