Sometimes I feel like I should try to find a few more family-friendly movies for Christmas. Not that I’ve got much family left or want to spend much time with anyone these days, holidays or otherwise. But there’s always someone who says, “You watch a lotta movies. Got anything we can all enjoy this Christmas season?”

Well, there are a few that might not give everyone nightmares. The one I’ve come back to the most these past few years was quite the surprise for me. It’s a surprise because the damn thing is basically a musical, while musicals and I go together like patience and Christmas shoppers. It’s called ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE.

Set in a private school just before holiday break, everyone is busily prepping for vacations and family time, while also putting on the annual talent show. No one really has time for a zombie apocalypse, but then, is there ever a good time for that?

We get a couple scenes with Anna and her father, then Anna with her friends, before all the singing ensues. The movie poster announces that it’s a zombie Christmas musical, so you know what you’re in for. It’s why I put off seeing this for a while. But the singing, as unrealistically spontaneous and GLEE-like as it is, is not really that bad. Matter of fact, a couple of these songs are pretty damn catchy. I’ve found myself kinda singing the bit about “No such thing as a Hollywood ending” since I last saw this.

Anna herself is a likable, plucky heroine with a nice singing voice. She lost her mother somewhat recently, so you’re already feeling for her before the zombie hordes start crunching and munching. There’s a decent cast of supporting characters, with the bestie who wants to be a little more, the douchebag with a heart of at least platinum, and the girl who sings the sexy, totally inappropriate song about Santa at the talent show.

Actually, now that I think about it, there might be a bit more zombie violence than some folks like, though it’s played mostly for comedy. There was a moment near the end where I wanted to bawl like a baby too, but maybe that was just the eggnog talking. It’s got one of those endings that’s kinda down yet kinda still hopeful. But damn, if those songs aren’t catchy, and the whole family will be cheering for Anna.

If you want something other than DIE HARD or the Grinch this year, it’s definitely worth a watch. Currently showing on Tubi for free.

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