Horror Quickie: Maggie (2015)

As far as stars go, there are few working today that are as universally loved as former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. I myself am a HUGE fan and usually find his particular brand of action hero extremely fun to watch. My personal fave is End of Days…cause it’s a horror film (natch), but as far as old school action goes, no one has ever done it better. So imagine my utter shock and surprise when the lights dimmed and Maggie began, and for the very first time I was introduced to Arnold Schwarzenegger the actor. I won’t lie, I was astonished.

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An unexpectedly poignant horror drama set in a world long decimated by a zombie outbreak, Maggie centers around Abigail Breslin’s titular character, a young woman who has been infected and who will slowly deteriorate into one of the walking dead. In this brave new world, the “necroambulist virus” does not cause the infected to turn in hours, but rather weeks. In essence, we spend all of Maggie watching Breslin slowly die, but we are not alone. Maggie’s loving, deeply devoted father Wade (Schwarzenegger) stays steadfastly by his daughter’s side, protecting and caring for her, day in day out, even as his little girl gradually fades away.

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Breslin’s performance is intense and moving, relaying beautifully the layered emotions of a young woman, barely begun to live, who is now awaiting a bleak, unavoidable fate. Her Maggie is absolutely captivating and if you’re anything like me, her performance will pull at your heartstrings, occasionally making you smile but more often bringing you to tears.

Abigail Breslin is undeniably the backbone of the entire movie…but Arnold, is the heart. Schwarzenegger’s weathered face is an open book, all the naked vulnerability of a parent forced to watch their child die, laid bare for all to see. He is mesmerizing and heartbreaking in a performance I am thrilled to know he actually had in him. One can only hope that this once formidable action star will continue to branch out into meatier, perhaps less physical roles.

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Now, just to be clear, this is NOT a horror film. Switch the illness from zombies to cancer and you have a complex drama about the frailty of life and the depth of a father’s love for his daughter. Still, the zombie element makes it horror-ish, and the change-up regarding the time frame definitely adds a new perspective, the zombie’s perspective to be exact. Regardless of labeling, Maggie is actually a beautiful, sad, splendidly acted film that I enjoying immensely. It was not what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised, both by the concept and performances.

I can’t really recommend Maggie to all fans of Arnold’s action fare, but if you like the occasional heartfelt tearjerker with a walking dead feel, then this is definitely a flick you’ll want to check out…and if drama’s not for you, well, there’s always End of Days.

Let me know what you thought of Maggie horror fans and as always give a girl some love and click that Like button.

 

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