Dawn of the Dead is a 2004 American remake of George Romero's 1978 original Dawn of the Dead. The remake and original both depict a handful of human survivors living in a shopping mall surrounded by swarms of Zombies, but the details differ significantly.
A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.
After finishing a long shift as a nurse, Ana, returns to her suburban Milwaukee neighborhood and her husband, Luis. Caught up in a scheduled date night, the two miss an emergency news bulletin on television. The next morning, a zombified neighborhood girl enters their bedroom, biting and killing Luis who immediately reanimates as a zombie. The zombified Luis goes after Ana, who locks herself in a bathroom. She escapes through the bathroom window flees in her car. While driving she listens to a radio broadcast about what is happening. She passes by many survivors who either beg for help o are being torn apart by zombies. Ana eventually crashes the car and passes out.
Upon waking, Ana joins with Police Sergeant Kenneth Hall and Michael, as well as petty criminal Andre and his pregnant wife, Luda. The group breaks into a nearby mall where a zombified security guard attacks them and scratches Luda. They are also confronted by three living guards — C.J., Bart and Terry — who make them surrender their weapons in exchange for refuge. The group secures the mall, then heads to the roof where they see another survivor, Andy, who is stranded alone in his gun store, across the zombie-infested parking lot.
The next day, a delivery truck carrying more survivors enters the lot, with zombies in close pursuit. C.J. wishes to turn them away but is outnumbered when Terry sides with the new arrivals. C.J. and Bart are disarmed while the newcomers go inside. They include Norma, Steve Marcus, Tucker, Monica, and Glen, as well as Frank and his daughter, Nicole. Another woman is severely bloated and too ill to walk; she is wheeled inside via wheelbarrow only to die and reanimate soon after. After she is killed, the group determines that the disease is passed by bites. Andre leaves to see Luda and the group realizes that Frank, who has been bitten, is a potential threat. After some debate, Frank elects to be isolated. When he dies and turns, Kenneth shoots him.
Another montage shows the survivors passing time in the mall and various relationships developing, including Kenneth and Andy starting a friendship by way of messages written on a whiteboard and Terry and Nicole falling in love and apparently dating. The group bonds over dinner when the power goes out. C.J., Bart, Michael, and Kenneth head to the parking garage to activate the emergency generator. They find a friendly dog but are attacked by zombies, who kill Bart. The remaining men are trapped in the generator compartment where they douse the zombies with gasoline and set them ablaze.
Meanwhile, Luda, in the advanced stages of infection and tied up by Andre, goes into labor and dies. She reanimates and the baby is born. Norma checks on the couple and, seeing Luda is now a zombie, kills her. Andre snaps completely; they exchange gunfire, killing them both. The rest of the group arrives to find a zombie baby which they immediately kill. The remaining survivors decide to fight their way to the local marina, and travel on Steve's yacht to an island on Lake Michigan. They begin retrofitting and reinforcing two shuttle buses from the parking garage for their escape.
Andy is dying of starvation, so the group straps a pack of food and a walkie-talkie onto the dog, Chips, and lower him into the parking lot. Andy calls for Chips, who is of no interest to the zombies, but one gets in the door of the store before Andy can close it and he is bitten. Nicole, worried about Chips, takes the delivery truck and crashes into the gun store, where she is trapped by a zombified Andy. Kenneth, Michael, Tucker, Terry and C.J. head through the sewers to mount a rescue. They reach the gun store, saving Nicole by killing Andy. They grab weapons and ammunition and go back to the mall; along the way, Tucker is killed. Once inside they are unable to lock the door, forcing an evacuation.
Everyone piles into the buses and they navigate through the city of Milwaukee. Glen loses control of a chainsaw, accidentally killing himself and Monica; blood splatters on the windshield causing Kenneth to crash the bus. A zombie attacks Steve as he tries to escape. C.J. exits the first van to look for crash survivors with Kenneth and Terry. They encounter the undead Steve but Ana kills him. She retrieves his boat keys, and they take the remaining bus to the marina. There, C.J sacrifices himself so the rest of the group can escape. Michael reveals he was bitten and Ana watches him kill himself, leaving Ana, Kenneth, Nicole, Terry and Chips as the only survivors.
A montage of footage from a camcorder found on the boat begins with Steve's escapades before the outbreak, and concludes with the group running out of supplies and gasoline before finally arriving at an island. They disembark and are attacked by another swarm of zombies. The film ends with the dropped camcorder recording dozens of zombies chasing them, leaving their fate unknown.
- Sarah Polley as Ana
- Ving Rhames as Kenneth
- Jake Weber as Michael
- Michael Kelly as C.J.
- Lindy Booth as Nicole
- Kevin Zegers as Terry
- Mekhi Phifer as Andre
- Inna Korobkina as Luda
- Ty Burrell as Steve
- Dawn of the Dead (2004) at the Internet Movie Database
- Dawn of the Dead (2004) at AllMovie
- Dawn of the Dead (2004) at Rotten Tomatoes
- Dawn of the Dead (2004) at Wikipedia
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