I haven’t seen an Arnie film in which he hasn’t been the tough guy blowing up things, shooting guns and kicking ass in quite a while. Maggie is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s second horror/supernatural genre movie after End Of Days and stars him with Abigail Breslin and Joely Richardson. I can’t really say that it’s a horror film because the focus is not on horror but still this will fall in the horror genre.
In the film there is a pandemic which causes infected people to become zombie like creatures after a few weeks of getting bitten by an infected person. Having been infected by a zombie, teenager Maggie calls her dad, Wade, in his Mid-western farm and tells him not to look for her. She is caught by the authorities and taken to a hospital for treatment. After 2 weeks of searching for her Wade finds her in the hospital he brings Maggie home to care for her until she must eventually be quarantined. During their return, a zombie attacks Wade at an abandoned gasoline station and he breaks its neck. Maggie doesn’t see this.
Once they reach home, plans are made to send Wade’s two younger kids (by his second wife Caroline) to live with their aunt. Maggie, having said goodbye to her step-siblings, withdraws in her room and doesn’t come out much or go to see her friends. When she falls from her swing she lands on her finger on her infected arm but feels no pain despite the bone breaking. Terrified she cuts off the finger from which a black liquid oozes out, causing her to panic and she runs out into the woods where she encounters her neighbour Nathan and his young daughter who are both zombies now. Wade comes up to them and kills them both and calls the sheriff. Although he is remorseful the sheriff finds his decision right and blames the wife Bonnie for hid her infected family from the authorities. Bonnie visits Wade that night, decrying the dehumanizing treatment of the infected and revealing that Nathan had locked himself in with his sick daughter, becoming infected himself, rather than abandon her to death among strangers in quarantine.
After a doctor checks on Maggie’s status he warns Wade that the time is soon coming for him to either quarantine Maggie or give her a lethal injection which is painful. The doctor also advises to shoot the girl as it is quicker. Wade and Maggie talk about her mom and how Wade met her. Despite finding maggots inside her decaying arm Maggie strives to achieve some sense of normalcy by going out with her friend Allie to a party, after being encouraged by Caroline, and kissing Trent – an infected boy who she used to date before the outbreak. Trent tells her of horror stories of the infected in quarantine. A couple of days later Caroline is stunned when Maggie smells “food” and realizes that it’s not something being cooked in their kitchen but rather human meat that Maggie smells. Later Maggie finds Trent, who had smelled his father as “food”, locked up his room refusing to come out. Though she tries to talk to him, the cops come by and take Trent away to quarantine by force.
Back at home Maggie finds a trapped fox that she tries to free but can’t help herself and bites off some it’s flesh. Wade kills the poor creature and Caroline leaves, urging Wade that it is time to take Maggie to a hospital. He doesn’t do so but keeps a loaded shotgun ready with him incase she turns completely and attacks. At night as Wade pretends to fall asleep, an almost completely zombified Maggie comes down her skin now gray and her eyes blackened. She stops at his side and sniffs him but kisses him lightly and goes out to the top of the house and jumps to her death.
Although it is a bit dull…..ok a lot dull….the acting is certainly really good. Arnold finding more serious character roles as he approaches his 70s (he is 68 people) and can’t do those high octane action movies anymore. Abigail is awesome as the girl knowing that her end is near but I feel that the movie could have done a lot more with the story. I give it a 7 outta 10!