EIFF 2015: Maggie

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 19 Jun 2015
Film title: Maggie
Director: Henry Hobson
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
Release date: 24 Jul
Certificate: 15

After decades of zombies being used for satirical commentary, a new wave of films seems concerned with heavy exploration of the emotional undercurrent of loved ones becoming the walking dead. While 2014’s Life After Beth took a comedic look at (literally) burying one’s romantic past, Henry Hobson’s Maggie is pitched firmly in the mode of drama.

Abigail Breslin is Maggie, an American Midwest teenager infected by the outbreak of a disease that authorities can barely understand. Before she becomes a cannibalistic creature, health officials allow her to stay in the care of her loving father, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in probably his strangest career move since that time he got pregnant. It’s a welcome change for Schwarzenegger, who does good work as the soft, vulnerable everyman.

It’s a shame the grim world around him and Breslin is so sketchily realised, and the story’s focus so scattershot in jerking between the two leads’ point-of-view. Just as Maggie’s humanity weakens, so too does the film’s emotional pulse become diluted.

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Maggie has its international premiere at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival

20 Jun, 8.35pm, Filmhouse; 23 Jun, 8.30pm, Filmhouse http://edfilmfest.org.uk