Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (15) | Close-Up Film Review


Dir: Christopher Landon, US, 2015, 93 mins

Cast: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont, David Koechner, Halston Sage

The very simple premise of this horror comedy is also the name on the tin. Childhood friends Ben (Sheridan), Carter (Miller) and Augie (Morgan) are boy scouts who become embroiled in a zombie apocalypse upon returning to civilisation from a campout with their sad-act Scout Leader Rogers (David Koechner, having a lot of fun). There’s more to the plot than this, including classic teen movie vibes involving Ben and Carter wanting to ditch Scouts but are afraid to tell nerdy Augie – his dad used to be their Scout Leader before his death two years prior and they only stick around for the poor boy’s sake. There are shades of Superbad here, where two of that film’s main characters kept a secret from a third, before ultimately realising what good friends they all were (apart from maybe Fogel).

There are other useless, rote subplots that unfold as the film skips along (at a very brisk pace, it must be said), including Ben’s crush on Carter’s sister Kendall (Paper Towns’ Halston Sage) and Carter’s desire to get laid – or at the very least, see some breasts. It’s all classic teen movie shtick, just wrapped up in an entertaining zombie apocalypse setting. There are some good gags to be enjoyed along the way, and the crowd this reviewer was with positively ate it up. Some of Scouts Guide’s best moments are of the gross-out variety; even if that kind of humour isn’t your cup of tea, you still have to applaud the inventiveness of those responsible for coming up with those gags.

Tye Sheridan cuts a sympathetic figure, a nice young guy who’s easy to root for. Logan Miller fills the foulmouthed sex-obsessed best friend role with ease and confidence, and is frequently the more enjoyable portion of the main trio, but its Joey Morgan who comes out on top as sweet-natured kid Augie, ditched by his friends in lieu of a party but still comes through for them in a zombie apocalypse. Sarah Dumont turns up as sassy cocktail waitress Denise and is not only a badass chick with a shotgun but also great eye candy for the pubescent adolescent male crowd.

Don’t get it twisted, this film is predominately aimed at a teenage market. But if you’ve got even a mildly silly sense of humour and a penchant for horror comedy mash-ups, then you’ll find something to enjoy here. The film never rises above what’s expected of it, and that’s a shame, but there’s still an okay way to spend 90 minutes contained within.

Review by Dan Woburn