Anna and the Apocalypse
Breakaway hit during its premiere at Fantastic Fest, Anna and the Apocalypse throws everything at the wall delivering a Scottish zombie high-school musical. Beginning earnestly enough, titular Anna is a listless teenager wanting to get out of her hometown. While holiday festivities and small concerns populate the thoughts of everyone, she just wants to go out, break away and experience something different. The night of the school Christmas show brings a breakout of zombies and soon Anna and her group of friends must sing, dance, and kill their way through surviving this timely version of the apocalypse.
Despite being a genre more played out than a Street Fighter 2 Machine in the mid-90s, Anna and the Apocalypse manage the satisfactory blood and guts needed for its kills. While the zombie material of the film is mildly entertaining, where the film really shines is its comedic moments and musicals.
Knowing when to be subtle and when to lay it on thick is a skill. Anna gets that right repeatedly, both in song and out. A double entendre number that transcends its wordplay is sure to be a screening highlight. Dialogue is spliced with minor jabs that undercut serious scenes, most scenes for that matter.
Solid delivery in all the genres that it touches, Anna tiptoes the lines between cliche and snark, opting to follow tropes only to point them out in a meta-joke or subvert them in some way. This was entertaining at first but as it repeated, subversion became expected, and in a way, just as predictable in the end like the ilk it initially appeared to separate itself from.
Anna and the Apocalypse have everything going in its favor to become a cult classic and join the pantheon of great films added to yearly holiday canon. Sweet, cute, and won’t think twice to tell you where to go, go for this one when you’re getting in the spirit.