As far as unnecessary remakes go, Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead nicely amplifies George A. Romero’s 1978 zombies-at-the-mall horror classic with a barrage of suspenseful action, some markedly quicker creatures, and a droll sense of humor. Like the original, a group of seven strangers band together at a local shopping mall (appropriately named “The Crossroads Mall”) after waking up one morning to find the world overrun by the undead. Snyder’s notable achievement comes pre-credits, when Sarah Polley’s nurse Ann – having just fled her rabid hubby and daughter – embarks on a terrifying tour of a suddenly apocalyptic Wisconsin suburb beset by raging fires, screaming citizens, and rampaging decayed monsters. Ann teams up with a cross-section of American society, including a dead-serious religious cop (Ving Rhames), an honest father (Jake Webber), and a husband (Mekhi Phifer) whose wife is about to give birth, and they all retreat to the consumer complex to try and comprehend the madness spreading outside. The director’s penchant for telegraphing everything with slow motion and menacing music – as well as the seemingly unending series of action-packed sequences – begins to wear thin after a while, but it’s tough to complain about overkill when a film delivers the head-splattering zombie goods as often as Dawn of the Dead does. There are early hints that Snyder is interested in duplicating the original’s consumer culture critique, such as when Ann comes home from work to find out she missed the “chubby” girl get kicked off (presumably) American Idol, or the sight of a sleek car commercial being interrupted by dire newscasts. Yet Snyder’s primary objective is figuring out how many zombies he can have shot in the head during a 100 minute movie. The answer, it turns out, is quite a few, and the director’s ability to meld such regular gruesomeness with light humor – a musak rendition of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” playing in the mall elevator; a swing version of Disturbed’s “The Sickness” on the soundtrack; a domineering security guard derisively calling Rhames “Shaq” – bolsters this bloody remake’s humorously gung-ho nihilism.