There is no denying that most of us are fans of anything zombie genre. With The Walking Dead becoming a televised phenomenon, we got to see a story line based around the characters and not the infected. This is very much the scenario in Henry Hobson‘s new film Maggie. Wade has promised his late wife that he would do anything to protect their daughter. Living in a world where an infection causes people to turn into cannibal zombies, the government have ordered that at 8 weeks into said infection, you must deliver your family member to the hospital quarantine wing… where they essentially wait to die. But how can you just give up? What if your loved one is different? What if you believe they can be saved?Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Wade with a love and affection that is altogether new for him. This legendary action star is gentle and protective, and any of us would be proud to call him Dad. He is able to hold the screen in long quiet shots with complete ease and not much more than his pensive face. I would love to him in more roles like this, as he is clearly capable of giving us an entire range of real emotion without any slow motion explosions going off behind him. Joely Richardson is Caroline, Wade’s second wife and Maggie’s stepmother. After sending her two small children off to live with relatives one Maggie returns to the home, she is hesitant to fully trust Wade’s parenting decisions, as would anyone afraid of being attacked by a zombie. Supportive but always on edge, Richardson displays the same great acting talents we’ve come to know from The Tudors and Nip/Tuck. The real star of this film, hands down, is Abigail Breslin. To navigate as a teenager in a world where awkwardness is already the norm, then add in the inevitability of turning into a monster is quite the feat. Breslin is graceful and raw in her spiral both emotionally and physically. She is able to balance sadness, thoughtfulness, and a little bit of frightening all at once. I am truly impressed with her portrayal of Maggie and it should not go unnoticed by Hollywood. Maggie is Henry Hobson‘s first feature length film. He is known for his genius art direction with title sequences, ironically including The Walking Dead. Hobson’s experience is evident in the way he chooses to shoot in an almost kamikaze style. Indie films have smaller budgets and tight schedule, but his actors and crew trusted him so much that at the drop of a hat, the entire team would run from one location to another in order to fit in a shot to capture a perfect moment in time and its natural light. I see a great future for Henry Hobson if Maggie is any indication of what he is capable of. Don’t expect massive actions scenes but do expect some phenomenal makeup effects and a truly lovely script by John Scott 3. For a first time screenwriter, he definitely knows his stuff about the genre and great family dynamics. Maggie is a slow burn, beautifully shot and scored, with one hell of an ending. It’s slightly outside the box for a zombie film and for Schwarzenegger, but totally worth your time. You can check out Maggie in theaters and On Demand today, May 8th.
Below you can find the audio from The Tribeca Film Festival press conference I attended for Maggie. Joely, Henry, and Arnold were in attendance. All three were completely gracious and articulate, it’s worth a listen for some insider information on the production. Enjoy!