Revisiting ‘Shaun of the Dead’, the model horror comedy – The Daily Free Press

Horror and comedy are two very distinct and unrelated genres. How could one bring comedic relief out of blood and fear – a constant sensation race where even the viewer fears for their life?

Of course, this has been done before – as “Scream (1996)”, “Ready or Not” and “What We Do in the Shadows” have brilliantly proven – but nothing comes close to Edgar Wright’s debut film. in 2004, “Shaun of the Dead”.

Directed by Wright and co-written by Wright and Simon Pegg, “Shaun of the Dead” tells the story of Shaun – a low-life electronics store manager played by Pegg – who spends his days at the pub with his friend in unemployment, Ed, played by Nick Frost. One morning, after a night of drinking, the two friends wake up to a sudden zombie apocalypse and attempt to take refuge in their beloved pub.

What is perhaps most authentic about the film is the comedy that comes from horror. After introducing us to the characters of Shaun and Ed – as well as Shaun’s girlfriend Liz and his two roommates David and Dianne – our characters are unaware of the horror that surrounds them in a perfectly orchestrated way. The initial pleasure comes from their ignorance and lack of recognition of their surroundings.

A scene from “Shaun of the Dead”. Director Edgar Wright’s directorial debut is a unique union of comedy and horror, reinforced by witty dialogue and signature visual comedy. ILLUSTRATION BY CONOR KELLEY / DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

What helps to link humor and horror more is the use of “bodily horror,” horror involving blood, blood and just overall alterations of the human body. We laugh with our bodies, and in a weird sense, a disk hitting a zombie in the face is comical but also upsetting.

Wright’s repertoire is visual comedy and witty dialogue. The visual aspect, as mentioned above, revolves around bodily horror but also through dialogue. Again, the main plot of the film is the character’s attempt to take shelter in a pub to escape the zombies – a subtle and absurd nod to their pub addiction. However, the process of their stratagem takes place through makeshift scenarios where the characters visualize through their words exactly how they are to execute the plan. Thus, visual comedy is built through words and action.

The visual aspect of horror is always intriguing because it’s an incredibly visual genre. But it is amplified with the help of music that creates suspense and gives a hard blow to the high note of a piano key. Wright’s films are known for their soundtracks, where he builds the story around the music, almost making fun of the characters he has created through that music.

In one of the final scenes, Shaun, Ed, and their group encounter an elderly zombie inside the pub. To protect himself, they beat him with pool cues to the beat of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”. It’s the subtle notes that are perfectly emblematic of the fun in the movie, because deep down, “Shaun of the Dead” is a fun movie, which is odd to say considering it’s pretty gruesome for the average viewer.

The film’s body horror is exaggerated in a way that parodies serious bloody horror films. In Wright’s film, body parts quickly break off, blood flows in gallons, and people die in the strangest way, leaving viewers wondering, “What’s going on?” ”

This is not a bad intention, however. This over the top blood party compiled with some comedy helps drive “Shaun of the Dead” throughout. One becomes so obsessed with the horror and situational comedy that surround them in a mind-boggling way that they can’t help but laugh as Shaun and Ed decide which records to throw at the zombies based on the artist.

This film is meticulous in its manner of attracting and frightening, but also revolves around the love affair between Shaun and Liz, the latter serving as the opening force of the film. No emotion, genre or feeling is unusual because with the combination of all the elements such as music, visuals and dialogue, “Shaun of the Dead” succeeds as the quintessential horror comedy film.

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