‘Dawn’ remake offers more laughs than screams

There was a time when scary movies were actually scary. They were the type of movies that parents warned their children not to watch, but never mind that, they did it any way.

Then for some odd reason, the children would wake up in the middle of the night wondering to themselves, “What was that?” They soon realize maybe they shouldn’t have watched the scary movie after all.

For everyone who did not make it to see “Dawn of the Dead” this weekend, don’t worry. The scariest thing about the movie was that students who did go would have had to pay $8 if they didn’t have their student identification.

In the movie, a group of strangers find refuge at the city mall from millions of zombies roaming around outside.

After a long day of work at the hospital, nurse Ana, played by Sarah Polley, is in a hurry to get home.

And because director Zack Snyder was in a similar hurry to get a point across, the audience gets the feeling early on from Ana that something just isn’t right.

The next morning, Ana and her husband wake up to a little girl standing at their bedroom door with vein-like skin, bugged out eyes and a bloody mouth that looks like a plastic surgery gone wrong.

Once the girl takes a bite out of Ana’s husband, he dies, but immediately wakes up and becomes one of “them.” Eventually Ana realizes he isn’t the only one.

After a hapless car accident, Ana ends up at the mall with the aid of Ving Rhames. Now stranded in the mall, Ana and the rest of an oddly assembled group battle the dead on the outside as well as the zombies that made it inside.

This remake of George Romero’s 1978 classic is a lot more fun than frightening.

When the group finds out the best way to kill the zombies is by shooting them in the head – otherwise they twitch uncontrollably – they go on the roof and start blowing them away saying, “Hey shoot the one that looks like Jay Leno … don’t forget Dan Rather.”

Even though the movie had an A+ cast, the weak roles made the overall performance more of a joke than anything.

Polley’s effort playing a leading role became aggravating at times, especially for those who wondered how nurses could be so tough.

Mekhi Phifer’s appearance in a scary movie will continue to be hopeless as long as he continues to play the rough guy from the streets.

His portrayal of a husband to a pregnant Russian woman is just as unbelievable as the locks he had in “8 Mile.”

Conversely, Rhames did a pretty good job, playing a police officer who leads the group on their escape mission.

When moviegoers started checking their watches halfway through the movie, it was easy to see that “Dawn of the Dead” had gone straight to the grave.

Unfortunately, viewers won’t know how the movie ends unless they sit through the credits.

Comedy was the only thing that saved this movie from its doom.

contact tiffany pitts at pittstiffany@hotmail.com.