Tye Sheridan has made quite a name for himself in recent years- the young actor has achieved critical plaudits for his work as troubled youths in films like Mud and Joe and has also won himself several awards in the process. Like most teenagers though Sheridan likes to let his hair down and have some fun every now and again and it makes for a refreshing change to see him in a role where he is doing just that.
Sheridan plays Ben, a scout who, along with his teenage friend Carver is getting fed up of his loser status at school and wants to get rid of his scout uniform for good. Stopping them from doing so however is their friend Augy, a lovable loser whose commitment to the scouts has intensified since the death of his father in recent years. When we meet the trio Augy is all set to achieve the highest honour there is for a scout, the Condor’s badge. The group have to spend a ceremonious night in the woods to award Augy with his badge, a night that turns out to be a blessing in disguise because when Ben and Carver sneak off they find their town has been overrun by zombies.
If this all sounds a little familiar that’s because it is. The film is effectively The Walking Dead meets Superbad but that doesn’t turn out to be as lazy as it sounds. The movie is relentless with both its crudeness and its gore and it chucks just enough jokes at the wall for some of them to stick.
Another key element of this genre of course is the girls. The lads are all useless with the opposite sex but find themselves having to work alongside sexy stripper Denise if they are to survive the night. Denise turns out to be one of the movie’s strongest characters, perhaps due to the fact that the film was co-scripted by two female writers. The film does have a certain crassness towards women at times but the characters amiable innocence manages to make it humorous as opposed to offensive.
Director Christopher Landon is clearly a lover of the zombie genre and whilst Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is hardly breaking any new ground it is an amiable and goofy love letter to the genre that proves to be a lot of fun.