3.5 out of 5 stars
Despite a misleading name which makes you think this is a kid’s film about a greedy teenager at a birthday party, this small budget but impressive looking movie blends familiar elements of both the horror and sci-fi genres into a new take of the old zombie/apocalypse film. The stunning visual images are eerily effective as are the sound effects, providing a pulsating symphony of dread as our characters make their way through a desolated and horribly realistic landscape, with the use of real logos and signs that will send a shiver up the spine of anyone who has lived here in the UK. With her calm intonations and a pure demeanour that contrast with her more bloodthirsty actions, the performance of newcomer Sennia Nenua is rightfully singled out, and she manages to hold her own amongst a more experienced cast that includes Paddy Considine and even Glenn Close. Tightly paced and unfussy direction by first timer Colm McCarthy gets the job done but couldn’t get over an overfamiliar feel as the shadows of 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead loom large over it. And while the script makes sense for the most part, it is lumbered with a few genre clichés and naffness as a result of misplaced British sense of humour even as it progresses to one of the better and more logical endings I’ve seen in films of this genre. But seriously, can they change that god-awful title?