Driving to school with her dad (Mark Benton) and best friend John (Malcolm Cumming), Scottish school girl Anna (Ella Hunt) has a confession to make. She doesn’t want to go to university next year. Her father stunned, he slams on the brakes. Skidding to a stop, Anna runs out of the ensuing argument with her father and straight into school. Feeling trapped by an uncertain future, Anna feels like she’ll never escape Scotland. However with a deadly flu virus quickly spreading throughout the country, Anna’s end-of-term day will take unexpectedly apocalyptic turn.
…the gore-for-laughs approach here is a good antidote to many tired, teenage angst movies.
‘Anna and the Apocalypse’ is a zombie, comedy musical drama which doesn’t take itself too seriously. With mercifully easy-on-the-ear songs, the movie’s frequent song and dance routines never outstay their welcome or obscure the plot. Refreshingly free of excessive musical schmaltz, the gore-for-laughs approach here is a good antidote to tired, teenage angst movies. Our auld friends abandonment, unrequited love and other high-school staples are predictably here, but in this Scottish setting, they are all underscored with darker sense of humour than you would associate with their American cinematic cousins.
Dispatching its characters regularly, ‘Anna and the Apocalypse’ is a spritely musical drama. With a who-will-survive narrative that is sufficiently light-hearted, there are no sacred cows here preserved for dramatic effect. Paul Kaye’s button-downed headmaster prowls the hallways to loathsome effect and Malcom Cumming’s best-friend-in-waiting are equally charming in their respective roles.
As a Christmas antidote to a plague of saccharine-saturated musicals, ‘Anna and the Apocalypse’ has a broad appeal that’s sure to delight most households. Whilst the gore and bloodletting might be a little too crimson for granny and the young ones, its good natured fun is not going to bring about the end of the world.