Anna and the Apocalypse is one of those rare treats; a horror movie that’s heart-warming and gory in equal measure. There’s been a recent resurgence in the Christmas horror sub-genre, with the likes of Better Watch Out, A Christmas Horror Story, and the mighty Krampus all released in quick succession. The Ella Hunt starrer, Anna and The Apocalypse belongs alongside them, but it’s so much more than just another festive delight.
The flick manages to juggle so many different elements, paying enough attention to each that it never feels overstuffed. The teenage characters have hilarious discussions about how cool it is to be in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, the adults fret over how to keep them safe in this new environment, all while a school Principal tries fruitlessly to assert authority in an increasingly difficult situation.
On top of the various, diverting story-line elements, there are plenty of toe-tapping musical numbers and bloody zombie kills to get through. Anna and the Apocalypse doesn’t shy away from stuffing itself like a Christmas turkey, but the predominantly young, unknown cast handles the material effortlessly, making the gut-punch of an ending (the body count is surprisingly high) even more of a shock. See our review of the film right here.
The Frightfest synopsis promises a delicious mixture of genres:
Shaun of the Dead gets Footlooose with High School Musical in a pure gore delight with a toe-tapping beat. Anna is looking forward to the end of high school. But while her widowed father dreams of university, she has other plans – jet-setting around the world to experience life before settling down. Suddenly a zombie apocalypse threatens her sleepy Scottish town, forcing Anna and friends to struggle, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the living dead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. A holiday horror show stopper with a mental, maniacal and magical musical edge.
Directed by John McPhail, and co-written by Alan McDonald and Ryan Henry, the movie stars Ella Hunt, Mark Benton, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, and Marli Siu. It’s equal parts funny, gory, inspiring, and surprisingly emotional.
Anchoring the increasingly zany action is Hunt’s nuanced, brave portrayal of the titular character, who’s introduced fighting with her father in the car the way so many young women and men remember doing back in the day. Over the course of the movie, though, Anna shows how strong and resourceful she really is.
Wicked Horror caught up with the young actress (who, it has to be stated for the official record, is going to be HUGE) at Frightfest 2018 to talk women in horror, surviving the apocalypse, and the hardest part of honestly portraying a daddy-daughter relationship in peril.
Interview conducted by: Joey Keogh
Camera: Richard Waters
Editing: Richard Waters