Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Remakes! They are now a studio staple, with every studio head and producer uttering that terrible commercially driven mantra: existing IP! It rarely produces anything but a watered-down retelling of a once revelatory hit, cheaply relying on nostalgia to make a buck and keeps a lot of original material out of our multiplexes these days. All right, I’ll get off my soap box!

Once in a while a filmmaker takes a well-known story and makes it their own. Who would know that two filmmakers who are intrinsically now tied to the DC brand, would collaborate on a redo of revered horror maestro George Romero’s classic: Dawn of the Dead. Who would have guessed that they would succeed? Because it’s great! It really, really is great!

"an edge of your seat, rollercoaster horror flick that definitively earned the rare honour of being a worthy remake"

Before The Walking Dead and countless other shows brought zombies into the cinematic fore, Romero’s ‘Dead’ were the go-to for your definitive take on zombie lore. Romero also had a unique way of exploring social commentary that explored the flaws of humanity as well as creating an image of what a zombie was.

Smartly, Zach Snyder and James Gunn steered well clear of this style of film when making their version of a story of survivors stuck in a shopping mall after a zombie apocalypse. This was where zombies no longer lumbered grotesquely toward a living meal, they sprinted, gnashing and aggressive (28 Days Later also employed this in 2002). This was a rapid, world-ending pandemic, to which their seemed no escape. The ferociousness of this film explodes in suburbia and barely lets up. It at times surrenders to the jump-cut scare penchant that reared its ugly head and never went away.Dawn of the Dead (2004)

There are some top-drawer actors in this, from indie-champion Sarah Polley to Ving Rhames. Their characters? A little one note to be honest. But serviceable and elevated, due to the actors that inhabit them.

The film also doesn’t shy away from the gore. While not the spectacularly grotesque Tom Savini entrail unravelling style, it is copious, violent and confronting. The set pieces in this film (and I’m about to be screamed at for sacrilege) are better than Romero’s and are visually captivated. This is an edge of your seat, rollercoaster horror flick that definitively earned the rare honour of being a worthy remake. It takes nothing away from the masterful identity of the original and confidently presents itself as a tale of its own design.

3/5 stars


Dawn of the Dead (2004)

4k details divider

Collector's Edition + Theatrical Cut on BD / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- January 31, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Three-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A


Shout Factory delivers (as usual) an impressive native 2160p scan of the  theatrical cut that delivers in spades. If you choose the unrated version of the film, be advised that those branched scenes are upscaled 2K footage. Impressively this isn’t really that jarring and, unless you’re really looking, not that noticeable. The unrated version gets a mark off for inconsistency but it’s hardly a bad looking version. This is a marked upscale from the blu-ray, with gorgeous DOLBY Vision/HDR10 really making the bold colour choices in certain scenes pop. Skin tones are vibrant, highlights excellent and judiciously placed and the darks are crush free. Being a predominantly in-camera shot film there a no real signs of digital manipulation, with the CGI flames registering brilliantly at this resolution. It’s a fantastic looking scan that won’t disappoint.


Sadly, Shout Factory decided not to give this flick a new ATMOS mix. But they did provide the awesome DTS-HD 5.1 lossless mix from the previous blu-ray release and that is an awesome, weighty, thumping mix not to be sneezed at. Directionality is superb for a mix that uses no overheads and base is used to sublime effect. Outstanding stuff, just a shame we don’t get a 7.1 upgrade with the awesome picture.



  • Audio Commentary With Director Zach Snyder And Producer Eric Newman

Special Features:


  • New 4K Master from original camera negative (2022)
  • Optional English subtitles for the main feature


  • New 4K Master from original camera negative (2022)
  • Introduction To The Unrated Cut With Director Zach Snyder
  • Splitting Headaches: Anatomy Of Exploding Heads
  • Attack Of The Living Dead
  • Raising The Dead
  • Andy's Lost Tape
  • Special Report: Zombie Invasion
  • Undead And Loving It: A Mockumentary
  • Drawing The Dead Featurette
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • Hidden Easter Egg
  • Optional English subtitles for the main feature


  • 2K master from interpositive
  • Take A Chance On Me – An Interview With Actor Ty Burrell
  • Gunn For Hire – An Interview With Writer James Gunn
  • Punk, Rock, & Zombie – An Interview With Actor Jake Weber
  • Killing Time At The Mall: The Special Effects Of Dawn Of The Dead – An Interview With Special Makeup Effects Artists David Anderson And Heather Langenkamp Anderson
  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Director Zach Snyder And Producer Eric Newman
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Optional English subtitles for the main feature

4k rating divider

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

Film Details

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

MPAA Rating: R.
101 mins
: Zack Snyder
George A. Romero; James Gunn
Sarah Polley; Ving Rhames; Mekhi Phifer
: Horror
Tagline: W
hen there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Bart, dude, everybody's dead, okay? Your mom's dead. Your brother's dead. That fat chick at Dairy Queen? Dead!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Studios
Official Site: https://shoutfactory.com/products/dawn-of-the-dead-collector-s-edition-1?variant=40080704864390
Release Date:
March 19, 2002
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 31, 2023.
Synopsis: Heart-pounding action and bone-chilling thrills power this edgy and frightening remake of George A. Romero's apocalyptic horror classic starring Ving Rhames (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2), Sarah Polley (Splice), Jake Weber (Wendigo), Mekhi Phifer (Divergent) and Ty Burrell (Modern Family).


Dawn of the Dead (2004)