The world's first ever zombie, Christmas musical is making its way to theaters this December. Anna and the Apocalypse made its debut at last year's Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas and was met with an incredibly warm reception from critics. That led Orion Pictures to scoop up the very original horror flick and now, the studio has announced that the movie will arrive in limited release on December 7, with a nationwide rollout planned for subsequent weeks. So get your pipes, both the kind for singing and the kind for bashing in zombie's heads, ready for this year's holiday season.
In Anna and the Apocalypse, a zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven, Anna and her high school pals must fight, sing and slash their way to survival in this bizarre and original genre mashup. Teaming with her best friend John, Anna and her young group must try to save family and faculty alike as they encounter everything from zombified snowmen, a manic bachelor party and, perhaps worst of all, teenage hormones. They soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and the only people they can truly rely on are each other.
John McPhail (Where Do We Go From Here?) directs the movie, with the cast led by Ella Hunt (Robot Overlords) alongside Malcolm Cummings, Ben Wiggins, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, Marli Siu, Mark Benton (The Halcyon) and Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones). Written by Alan McDonald and the late Ryan McHenry, the man responsible for the Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal videos. Anna and the Apocalypse also features original music by Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly. Some of those songs could end up becoming new mainstays on Christmas playlists. Eat your heart out, White Christmas.
The movie is based on the 2010 BAFTA-winning short Zombie Musical, Anna and the Apocalypse. After making its debut at Fantastic Fest, the movie was then featured at Sitges Film Festival where it won the award for Best Midnight X-Treme Feature. Currently, with 13 reviews counted, the movie holds a 92 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with just a single negative review to its name. For something that is throwing so many different things into one crazy genre flick, that's pretty impressive.
Horror has had something of a resurgence in the mainstream in recent years, thanks to movies like The Conjuring, Get Out and IT, among many others. Not only that, but La La Land helped bring musicals back. Combining those two sensibilities, assuming general audience members can get on board for something so crazy, could wind up doing big business. While Anna and the Apocalypse isn't a big-budget, studio movie, it does have the ingredients necessary to become a breakout hit. Giving genre fans something to enjoy during the holiday season could make for a winning combination. Orion Pictures, now a division of MGM, relaunched in September 2017 as a distributor. Maybe Anna and the Apocalypse can help put them back on the map.