Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse feels like an update of the classic Amblin movies of the 1980s - with a gory twist. Given the glut of zombie-related entertainment now, it's hard to remember a time they were out of vogue. Outside of the Resident Evil games, the 1990s were almost entirely bereft of zombies in pop culture. Still, the Resident Evil franchise helped - no pun intended - revive the genre with the 2002 movie adaptation, while 28 Days Later also proved to be a solid hit that same year.
Pretty soon Zack Snyder's Dawn Of The Dead remake and George A. Romero's Land Of The Dead shuffled onscreen, and zombies have rarely been out of work since. Few could have predicted what a phenomenon The Walking Dead would become when the graphic novel debuted in 2003 either, which later led to Frank Darabont's TV show adaptation in 2010. The series followed Rick Grimes' efforts to protect his family and friends in a world overrun with zombies and The Walking Dead has run for ten seasons thus far. It also produced a hit spinoff with Fear The Walking Dead, in addition to video games and a forthcoming movie.
By now zombies are starting to feel a little played out, though the occasional gem like Train To Busan proves great movies can still be made in the crowded subgenre. Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day) directed a fun horror comedy with 2016's Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse. The movie follows three childhood friends - played by Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, and Joey Morgan - who are part of the scouts and have to survive a night from hell when zombies suddenly overtake their hometown.
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse was a box-office dud upon release and received mixed reviews but with the right mindset, it's solid entertainment. Sheridan makes for a likable lead, it features some great gags and has some gruesome practical effects. It even features zombie animals, including cats and a deer. Landon admitted an influence from 1980s Amblin adventures, like Gremlins or The Goonies, which can definitely be felt in the movie's tone. It basically takes the Amblin adventure template and adds a bunch of gore and foul language into the mix.
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse also feels like a spiritual successor to 1987's The Monster Squad, where a bunch of kids teamed up to take on famous creatures like Dracula and The Wolfman. Like that movie, Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse was also a box-office disappointment upon release, but hopefully, it will also a fanbase in the years to come.