Parents' Guide to

Anna and the Apocalypse

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Exuberant but uneven, gory holiday zombie musical.

Movie R 2018 97 minutes
Anna and the Apocalypse Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+


I liked the gore in this movie, but because it was a musical, it is more stupid than scary. The fact that this is a Christmas movie that is a gory musical makes it stupid. I like Christmas movies, horror movies, and musicals, but not combined. There is lots of graphic gore and lots of singing and dancing. THEY DON’T MIX! The songs are good by themselves, the soundtrack is great, but don’t waste your time watching this!
age 15+

Well Done Zombie Christmas Musical Absolutely Earns The R Rating

Note: There are 3 versions of this film; the US Cut (92 mins), the UK Cut (97 mins), and the Extended Cut [aka Festival Cut] (108 mins). I have seen all three, extra content doesn't make the movie more explicit. Movie (4.5/5): The movie is a zombie comedy Christmas musical; it follows Anna, a girl who wants to see the world and escape her uneventful life in her small town, even against her dad's wishes (who wants her to go to college instead). However, soon zombies start taking over her town and now she and her friends have to make it to the school in order to find their loved ones and hopefully get out alive. The story develops the characters perfectly, giving us their normal problems and hopes before the zombie apocalypse happens, in which causes them to mature and deal with loss and grief in a new world. The songs are memorable, well written, and catchy while properly telling the story. The comedy is hilarious and makes us like these characters so that the drama hits strong. Well filmed, greatly acted, and excellently paced; Anna and the Apocalypse is a movie that is a fun holiday musical and well made zombie comedy all in one package. I highly recommend this movie to anyone (especially the 108 minute long extended cut). Violence (4/5): Gory violence throughout. Including head bashing with blood and gore, ripped out intestines, stabbings, gory zombie bites, decapitations, and more. Anyone that says that this movie could've been PG-13 is being silly, this movie absolutely earns the R rating for its violence alone. Language (4/5): Typical R rated language. 20+ F bombs, as well as uses of s--t, hell, damn, and more. Also includes British language such as bloody, bollocks, shag, etc. This language is in some of the songs as well (so be weary about playing the soundtrack out loud). Sex (2/5): One song is a giant constant sexual innuendo, a character finds a sex toy in a box of confiscated items, some mild talk about sex. Drugs/Drinking (1/5): In the extended cut, the main antagonist is seen drinking for a brief moment.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Both its tone and its songs get a little melancholy as the movie goes along, but this frequently exuberant Christmas-zombie-musical is wonderfully creative, with a touching emotional center. Dreamed up by a handful of fresh-faced newcomers, Anna and the Apocalypse features several brand-new original tunes, the most delightful of which are doled out in the first half hour, although the cast's singing and dancing generally carry the later, sadder, darker ones through. (Only a vicious shriek-fest, sung by Kaye's villain, stops things dead for a time.) And while the zombie violence is mostly old hat, there are a few clever new slayings, especially those taking place in a bowling alley and one involving a seesaw.

Of the movie's three main thematic elements, Christmas is less present than the songs or the zombies (or at least less so than in something like The Nightmare Before Christmas). But holiday imagery is used in twisted, subversive ways, such as Anna's choice of a candy cane (with a sharp end point) as a weapon, a Christmas tree on fire, and a big prop star in the stage performance. An ugly holiday sweater is also a highlight. Aside from any gimmicks or genre-switching, though, what really comes through in Anna and the Apocalypse is a sense that the characters have genuine troubles, that they genuinely care for one another, and that death actually means something. Viewers may have expected to laugh and tap their toes, but they may be surprised at having been moved, too.

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