Lessons in frights from ‘World War Z’

Not many movies give me the shivers, movies that turn my blood the temperature of an iceberg.
But I chilled with fright and anticipation of more horror with the movie “World War Z.” Those chills started five minutes into the film when Brad Pitt’s character Gerry Lane and his family were trapped in traffic and so began their entrapment in the beginning apocalypse.
To back up, I must say the book by Max Brooks is also frightening. Brooks did a fantastic job of describing the indescribable. A massive attack by zombies. Reading the book at night, I’d look at the windows to make sure nothing horrible would break through. That is another kind of horror, the imagined terror set free by words. With film, you have the visual and the audio and combined, they scared the socks off me.
So what made the film so frightening? To me, it was watching the people on screen face the inescapable. Hordes of zombies. No matter where they would run, it wouldn’t be far or fast enough.
There was no safe place.
The sequence in Israel — one of the film’s best — demonstrates that magnificently as the wave of zombies rides over the city walls like a horrific tsumani. The city is no longer safe.
Even when Gerry escapes on a plane, there is no escape.
But throughout, Gerry is never safe, as we as the audience feel the claustrophobia of the bad dream from which we can’t wake.
And that is what made the film so damn scary. That is the stuff of nightmare. Of good horror.

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