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June 30, 2015

Movie Review: Maggie (2015, Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: James D.

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes to the art-house in a zombie drama called Maggie. Directed by first time film director Henry Hobson, we explore a scaled back Arnold who is stripped away of his action persona and those campy one liner’s. In this film he portrays everyday man Wade Vogel. Wade has a problem though, his 16 year old daughter Maggie was infected by a zombie.

As the film opens he goes to the hospital to pick her up where the nurse informs him that she is going to go into the quarantine. Wade will have none of that as he takes her home. It seems that when people are infected with this virus, they are automatically stuck in quarantine to contain the virus and not infect anyone else. While we do get some zombies here and there, Maggie is more of a drama with a horror film backdrop. As this film explores a father in the last weeks with his daughter before she fully turns into a zombie. The first time director really steers clear of the horror film clichés and zombie clichés as well. As he gives us a character study on a father coming to terms with losing his daughter and if he can truly let go of her.

The film is around an hour and a half long and has a slow pace that some fans may not have the patience for. What saves this film is the acting of the two main stars. Arnold really gives us some depth and a heartfelt delivery. Abigail Breslin as Maggie really steals the film. The depth and emotion she delivered is impressive. Maybe she should have played Carrie in the remake? The last ten minutes of this film really showcased what vision a first time director can bring, it was both poetic and beautifully shot. It truly gave the audience something to think about way into the credits. 

When Arnold announced he quit acting, and then got divorced and all of a sudden made a return, I would never in my wildest dreams thought he would ever shine in a film like this. He has been taking on roles in the last few years that display a vulnerability to his demeanor. Arnold in this film pulls off a fractured father who wants his family to be happy but knows inside that is never going to happen. Maggie has its flaws and moments that I feel did not work, but in all this film was really a better film than expected. I cannot wait for Arnold’s next art-house film Terminator.

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