Saturday, August 8, 2015

Phil's Horror Watch: Phil reviews MAGGIE (2015) from Lionsgate-August 8, 2015

MAGGIE Blu-Ray Cover (2015)
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Douglas M. Griffin, Rachel Whitman Groves, Jodie Moore
Written by John Scott 3
Cinematography by Lukas Ettlin
Directed by Henry Hobson
Released by Lionsgate

Hello again horror hounds and welcome back to another installment of Phil's Horror Watch! While mainstream media is blasting Arnold Schwazenegger's newest film TERMINATER: GENISYS, one might have missed his smaller, intimate indie horror/drama the played in select theaters. A film that some horror fans may not even knew was released given to its stars. However, one must seek out Lionsgate's newest release MAGGIE to witness a zombie film unlike anything that's been made before.

The film's official synopsis: After a couple of weeks seeking out his teenage daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin), Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger) finds her in the quarantine wing of a hospital. Maggie has been infected by a lethal outbreak that transforms the victim into a zombie. Wade's friend Dr. Vern Kaplan (Jodie Moore) releases Maggie to spend her last days with Wade and her family. Her stepmother Caroline (Joely Richardson) asks Wade to take their little kids to her sister's house to keep them safe. While Maggie is slowly transformed, Wade stays with her protecting Maggie. But Dr. Vern warns him that the moment that he will have to take an ultimate decision is closer.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
This might be a film that Schwarzenegger fans may not like. This is not an action, adventure, shoot-em-up, big effects, big explosions type film. This is something very different from the norm, even for the zombie genre. Here is a film that is thoughtful, sensitive, emotional and makes you reflect on what's important in your life. Like I said, not your typical Schwarzenegger flick but that's a good thing for Schwarzenegger. We get to see him stretch out his acting capabilities and he's quite believable in his role as the world weary, loving husband and father Wade. I think this his best role he's ever played and it's very refreshing to see him in this 180 type role. When you think of dramatic roles, Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't the first name that pops into your mind. But after seeing him in this film, you might want to reconsider that stereotype you have of him.

Abigail Breslin once again turns in a powerful performance, in this her second outing in the zombie genre (the first one was the horror/comedy ZOMBIELAND). Her portrayal of teen infected girl turning zombie, Maggie is a very believable character and you feel for her outcome: you know she's infected right at the start of the film and you continue to root for her and tell her to fight the virus. You want her to overcome it and be a regular, normal teenage girl. But unfortunately that's not possible. A brilliant and compelling performance on the part of the young actress.

Now believe it or not, this is Henry Hobson's directorial debut and he just nails it from the first frame to the last. The film looks and feels like a beautiful nightmare that unfolds gracefully. Brilliantly photographed by cinematographer Lukas Ettlin, Hobson's vision of a father's loving devotion to his only daughter set against a world that is in a chaotic state of decay and death is lovingly captured for us film lovers to watch and discuss. And since this is technically a zombie film, there are some scares and some minor bloodshed to be found, but overall this is a zombie film that is more about life than death. A triumphant directorial debut on the part of Hobson!

Overall MAGGIE is hands down one of the most original zombie films I have ever seen! A new type of filmmaking has been achieved and for horror fans, this is a reason to celebrate. Everything is usually a remake, reboot, or a re-imagining. Here is an original film for a unique director who had a unique voice and was brave enough to make a personal, reflective, and creative work of art. Five out five stars!! Highly recommended!!

MAGGIE is available on both Blu-Ray and DVD and can be purchased at your local retailer or at the Amazon website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

No comments:

Post a Comment