What makes a film an ‘Indie’ film? The budget? The lack of big name stars? The style of the film? For me it’s a combination. Sure we’ve had indie films with big stars, that’s nothing new. But generally they tend to be fairly low budget and have a certain style, depending on what sort of film we’re talking about.
I’m hard pressed to say Maggie is an indie film which is what others have classed it as. If someone wants to give me $4.5 million dollars to make an indie film I’d be over the moon. Particularly if they then said Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin (Zombieland, Little Miss Sunshine) and Joely Richardson (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Event Horizon) are going to be in it.
Maggie tells the story of Maggie Vogel (Abigail Breslin) who, in a world that’s under threat from a virus that’s turning infected people, slowly, into zombies, gets bitten and begins the change, or turn as it’s called, herself.
Her father Wade (Arnie), a humble farmer in the middle of nowhere, travels to the city to track her down and, for reasons that aren’t all that clear, the doctors allow him to take his infected daughter home.
Once home the stepmom Caroline (Joely Richardson) sends her young kids away and they begin the process of living with a daughter who’s turning into a zombie.
And that’s pretty much it. If you’re expecting Arnie to kick-ass, for zombies to attack and get their heads blown off you’re going to be disappointed.
I think what the writer, John Scott 3, was trying to achieve was a movie that would make us feel for Maggie whilst she’s going through this change and also for Wade as to what a father would have to go through. However between the writing and the directing, from Henry Hobson (who’s more used to directing opening and closing sequences for movies), they just don’t quite reach the heights they’re aiming for.
We end up with a painfully slow movie. There are parts that you’re not quite sure what the purpose of them is (the fox for instance? What’s that trying to say?).
There is some good to take from the movie though. This is probably the best acting we’ve seen from Schwarzenegger, well, ever really. I did start to feel there would have been others better suited to it but still, he is good.
Overall we have a movie that attempts to turn zombie films into an artsy-style movie and, I’m afraid to say, fails. As I said, I can see what they were trying to do and I feel there’s possibly a movie in that idea, I just don’t feel this is it.