“Maggie” is a 2015 post-apocalyptic zombie drama film directed by Henry Hobson and written by John Scott III. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin. This ain’t your typical zombie movie, so hold onto your butts while Weird Musician gives us the low down on this heart-rending tragedy.
Two things before I start:
1. It’s never explained how the Necroambulist (aka zombie) virus started but it seems the government knows how it affects people.
2. There is no cure.
That’s why quarantine zones exist where people who are infected can be attended well (supposedly) until it’s time for them to die or be killed if they become a zombie. Since it’s not known if the virus spreads through farmers have burned their crops and fields to prevent contamination.
Another fact is that it’s not shown how Maggie got bitten. There’s flashbacks that she and Caroline (her stepmom) have of the event but its only glimpses of a zombie attacking one of them– my guess is that it’s Maggie.
Maggie is alone in the city at the hour of curfew and she calls her dad telling him not to pick her up. She is then taken by armed officials when they notice she’s infected to a hospital accepting infected patients. This is because she has a bite wound on her arm that will spread throughout all her body, slowly turning her into a zombie.
Wade (her dad) is allowed to take her home as a favor so she has time to say goodbye to everyone and settle her affairs before she’s finally quarantined. Her father doesn’t want to take her to quarantine. The area near where they live is completely deserted; there’s not a lot of people around. This is noticeable when they stop at a gas station and enter the store. When Wade goes to the bathroom he encounters a zombie and breaks its neck; Maggie takes some sunglasses and that her dad leaves the money for in the counter of the place as they leave.
Finally Wade and Maggie arrived home where her stepmother and her siblings Bobby and Molly are waiting for them; they’re going to an aunt’s house while Maggie’s situation is dealt with. Bobby before leaving talks to Maggie telling her he knows about the infected since one of his classmates was one of them. After her siblings leave Maggie stays in her room and tries talking with her friends in an attempt to ignore what’s happening to her.
But one day after swinging on a swing she falls and cuts her fingers. They start oozing a black liquid, which scares her, so she does something drastic: she cuts off her fingers to prevent the worst from happening. After this she goes outside and finds two of her neighbors completely zombified.
Wade kills them both to protect her, but feels remorseful afterwards and some of his friends ask him if he’s ready to do the same when Maggie turns.
Throughout the film you can sense a really strong bond between Maggie and Wade.
Wade is visited by the wife/mother of the zombies who regrets not locking them up; which would have prevented them from attacking other people. She tells him she didn’t want them to go to quarantine since they treated her little girl Julia as a test subject instead of a person when she was taken there.
Maggie’s stepmom is scared of her and of what she’ll do when she turns.
Wade goes to Dr. Kaplan, friend of his that works in the quarantine zone, and takes Maggie for a checkup on her progress. After examining her Kaplan talks to Wade and tells him the virus is progressing fast in her and she doesn’t have much time left.
So he has three options:
- Take her to quarantine; which he doesn’t want to do
- Give her a cocktail injection that they would give her in quarantine so she would die with her father by her side instead of strangers
- Kill her before she fully turns or wait until she turns completely and then kill her
Wade and Maggie bond in their last days together making fun of her stepmom’s cooking and talking about Maggie’s biological mother– whose name is never mentioned– but Wade tells her that her mom was a bookworm and that Maggie’s name came from a book called “Daisy’s Journey” that had a character called Marguerite in it.
One of Maggie’s friends Allie invites her to hang out with friends, they talk around a bonfire. Among them is Maggie’s ex-boyfriend Trent who’s infected too. His mom was infected and he tried talking with her when she was in an advanced stage and when he was distracted calling for his dad, she bit him.
She spends some alone time with Trent and ends up kissing him. After she brings Maggie home Allie cries in her car knowing that she’ll never see her friend again.
One night Maggie wakes up and looks at the wound in her arm and when she shakes it two maggots fall from it and she cries for a bit in the bathroom.
Her eyes start to lose color and she also claims she smells food when she’s near Caroline; this scares her stepmom. Trent calls Maggie one day asking for help since he can smell his dad and doesn’t want to attack him; in spite of her efforts to calm him down the police arrive and take him to quarantine by force.
As the days pass Maggie’s condition gets worse. She hears noises coming from the woods and finds a fox trapped in a cage, after this she runs back home with her face full of fox blood. Wade finds it in pain and shoots it. Maggie’s stepmom tells Wade to call the police to take her to quarantine but he refuses to do so, so she does instead and leaves the next day.
That same day two officers appear and Wade fights one of them but Maggie comes out and tells them she’s OK so they leave. Wade takes Maggie to her mom’s garden so she can have a connection to her human side and be at peace. The garden is filled with daisies, her mom’s favorite flower.
Her condition continues to deteriorate and Maggie tries to say goodbye to her friends, but it’s too hard. Wade finds her on the floor and calms her down. The next day an almost completely zombified Maggie goes to the living room where her dad is sitting with a shotgun and kisses his forehead before jumping off the house’s roof. The last thing Maggie sees as she does this is a memory of her as a child frolicking through the flowers with her mom.
The soundtrack of the film was made by Oscar Brown Junior. The few times it’s used its effective since it’s sad and somber. It was more based around songs from Oscar Brown Jr. than composed by him, since the jazz singer/songwriter who died in 2005.
“Maggie” is a touching sad story about the bond between a father and daughter that continue to exist in spite of a harsh situation. The main characters Wade and Maggie are well developed and you get attached to them and their situation hoping things will turn out OK at the end.
This is more of a dramatic movie with a zombie background than it is a typical zombie movie, which makes it stand out from the crowd of millions of zombie films that are now out on the market. “Maggie” explores the human side of the equation and how a family would react if one of their loved ones was infected and what they would do to protect them.
If you don’t like movies that move at a snail pace or are a slow burn, I suggest you avoid this one. However, if you like tragic stories that explore and study characters, then you’ll love “Maggie.”