Shaun Of The Dead

One of the most deservedly popular British comedies of the last few decades, Shaun Of The Dead is a genuine slice of fried gold. Fresh from the success of cult Brit-com Spaced, writer-director Edgar Wright and writer-star Simon Pegg gave birth to the rom-zom-com as we know it, effectively combining shades of romantic comedy with an apocalyptic zombie crisis in suburban London. Like the aforementioned show, much of the comedy is milked from the playful use of repetition, meaning there’s a tonne of callback humour, repeated dialogue (“You’ve got red on you” etc.) and meticulously-scripted foreshadowing. Again, Wright directs with invention and style (see the single-take tracking shot that follows Shaun to the shops and back), while a number of ordinary, everyday scenes are edited like tooling-up sequences from a muscular action movie. Something that’s often overlooked, though, is the fact that Shaun also makes for an effective zombie picture in its own right, boasting an eerie atmosphere and a genuine sense of jeopardy throughout. There are fewer geek references than you might expect, but it’s still a film best appreciated by movie fans. That said, it’s built around universal themes (such as friendship, growing up, and the soul-destroying crapness of working a job you hate), while Pegg and Nick Frost display the bromantic chemistry that comes from being real-life best mates.