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Maggie (film)

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An older man and his zombie daughter stand in front of a stormy sky, with the words "SAVE HER" faintly scrawled over the title
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHenry Hobson
Written byJohn Scott 3
Produced by
  • Colin Bates
  • Joey Tufaro
  • Matthew Baer
  • Bill Johnson
  • Ara Keshishian
  • Trevor Kaufman
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Pierre-Ange Le Pogam
CinematographyLukas Ettlin
Edited byJane Rizzo
Music byDavid Wingo
Distributed by
Release dates
  • April 22, 2015 (2015-04-22) (Tribeca)[1]
  • May 8, 2015 (2015-05-08) (United States)[2]
Running time
95 minutes[3]
  • United States
  • Switzerland
Budget$1.4 million[4]
Box office$1.6 million[5]

Maggie is a 2015 American post-apocalyptic horror drama film directed by Henry Hobson, in his directorial debut, written by John Scott 3, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin and Joely Richardson. Maggie is a dramatic departure for Schwarzenegger, who is better known for his action film roles.

The film was originally set to have its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, but Lionsgate bought the American distribution rights and pulled the film out of the festival's roster.[6] It instead premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on April 23, 2015, as part of their lineup,[1] followed by a limited theatrical release and simultaneous VOD release on May 8, 2015.


In the present-day Midwest United States, society struggles to function in the aftermath of a zombie pandemic (Necroambulism) barely under control. Maggie Vogel calls her father from a broken city under curfew; her voicemail urges that he not seek her and that she loves him. Her arm was bitten. Knowing she has only weeks before the "Necroambulist virus" turns her cannibalistic, she left home to protect her family. Maggie's father Wade has searched two weeks, despite her warning. Finding her in a hospital for the infected, 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.

At home, Maggie's younger half-siblings Bobby and Molly are leaving to stay with their aunt. Maggie talks to Bobby, who mostly understands what she is undergoing. She withdraws from her family, struggling to cope with her hopeless situation and torn about contacting her friends. Falling from a swing, she breaks a finger on her infected arm, from which black fluid oozes. Terrified, even though she feels little to no pain, and despairing over her condition, Maggie cuts off the finger. She flees outside and encounters a neighbor, Nathan, and his young daughter, both senseless with infection. Wade kills both zombies but feels extreme remorse. The responding sheriff and deputy consider Wade blameless, instead blaming Nathan's wife Bonnie, who 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.

A sympathetic doctor lies to Maggie and on her medical report about the progress of her infection, but warns Wade that, if he wishes to spare Maggie quarantine, he will have to euthanize her himself, either with an extremely painful drug cocktail, or by "making it quick". Wade and Maggie make the most of their remaining days, reminiscing about Maggie's deceased mother. Despite Maggie's physical deterioration (she's woken by maggots wriggling in her dying arm) she struggles to maintain normality. She attends a bonfire with a high school friend, Allie, and an infected boy, Trent, whom Maggie previously dated, and whom she kisses. He tells rumors of horrible conditions at the quarantine facilities, saying he would die before going there.

One day, Maggie smells food near her stepmother Caroline, though Caroline smells nothing and muses that Wade must be cooking downstairs. Finding the kitchen empty, Caroline realizes in horror that Maggie has begun to smell living flesh, in this case Caroline's, as food. Maggie receives a desperate call from Trent. At his home, Trent has locked himself inside his bedroom after he too felt hunger smelling another human, his father. Maggie tries to comfort him but watches helplessly as the police forcibly remove Trent to quarantine.

Back home, Maggie encounters a trapped fox in the woods. Later she runs into her home, hysterical and coated in blood, admitting through tears to her frightened parents that she wanted to free the fox but then couldn't stop herself from attacking it. Wade shoots the half-eaten fox. Caroline departs and urges Wade it's time Maggie is taken away. Two officers arrive and Wade fights one of them before Maggie appears, assuring them she has not yet turned. The sympathetic sheriff leaves Wade with a warning that he'd better decide what to do with her before they next come to check on Maggie.

Wade shows Maggie white daisies he's grown in her mother's old garden, "Daisy" being a nickname he sometimes uses for Maggie. She thanks him for the garden's beauty, but also begs him to promise that he will "make it stop" before she grows worse. Later, Wade sits alone with his shotgun, still unable to use it. He pretends to sleep when Maggie approaches, her skin now gray and her eyes blackened. She lingers over him, smelling him, seemingly on the edge of self-control, before kissing his forehead. Maggie goes outside. Wade, seeing a shell on the floor, puts it in the shotgun. Maggie has climbed to the roof and jumps off, her last memories being of herself as a child frolicking outdoors with her mother, picking a daisy.



The original screenplay for Maggie, written by John Scott 3, won the Thriller/Horror category Gold Prize in the 2010 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards competition, and as a result was brought to the attention of director Henry Hobson. The following year, the script landed on the Black List of "most liked scripts." Chloë Grace Moretz was initially attached to the project but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.[7] 'The film is the directing debut of Henry Hobson, whose previous works were designing the title cards of other films such as Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Robin Hood (2010)[4] and video games like The Last of Us (2013), along with the title cards for the 86th and 87th Academy Awards,[8] and commercials for Halo, Resistance 3, and Xcom.[9] Hobson chose Schwarzenegger as a sort of "shorthand" for a protective father, which allowed the film to avoid having to shoot scenes establishing him as such.[10] Hobson also enjoyed the idea of casting the actor against type, explaining "when Arnold came up, it was a really intriguing idea; he’s been the hero in everything he’s done, and to now use that against him and have him be a father who has failed to protect his family was a really intriguing idea—to use his strongest qualities as a kind of narrative aid".[10] Filming started on September 23, 2013[11] in New Orleans, Louisiana,[12] and ended on October 25, 2013.[13] The film's shooting schedule lasted 25 days.[4] Hobson produced more than 200 pages of storyboards to guide his actors throughout the film.[4]



On March 25, 2015, the trailer for Maggie was released on YouTube, receiving 4 million views in 4 days,[14] with director Henry Hobson also releasing the trailer on his Vimeo account.[15] For the film's release in the Philippines by Pioneer Films on May 13, 2015, the poster was heavily modified to exaggerate the few action elements in the film, such as the inclusion of the tagline "Don't Get Bitten".[16][17] Limited edition posters were also produced for the US market [18]


Maggie premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on April 22, 2015.[19] The film was theatrically released in limited theaters in the US on May 8, 2015,[20] and in the UK on July 24, 2015.[4]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD on July 7, 2015.[21]


Critical response[edit]

Although Maggie received mixed reviews, critics praised Schwarzenegger's and Breslin's performances, with critics surprised by Schwarzenegger's ability as a dramatic actor, capable of delivering a very tragic and touching performance, rather than only being an action film actor.[22][23][24][25][26][27] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 60%, based on 134 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 5.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Maggie lurches a bit clumsily at times, but is partially redeemed by strong performances and an unexpectedly thoughtful tone."[28] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 52 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29]

Christopher Bourne of Twitch Film, reviewing from the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, states that Schwarzenegger "delivers one of his finest and most effective performances here, the most dialed back and restrained he's ever been. He brings surprising nuance and depth to his role as a father who desperately fights to preserve his last moments with his daughter, and who suffers considerable agony at his inability to reverse or ameliorate Maggie's inevitable decline", and adds that his dramatic turn "suggests his capability for a wider range of roles as he approaches his seventies and is less able to take on the physical demands of the action hero roles that he has been known for."[30]

Perri Nemiroff of Collider, who gave the film a mixed review, notes that Schwarzenegger "won’t ever completely shake the super tough exterior, but he certainly comes across as a very relatable, loving father here", and that Breslin "gets a nice assist from the eerily natural zombie transformation makeup, but it’s her ability to move between selling Maggie as a strong young woman trying to keep it together for her family and also being downright terrified that makes the performance especially heart wrenching." However, she ultimately states that the film "is just one big missed opportunity. Hobson’s certainly got potential, but his determination to highlight the characters’ misery through dim visuals and super sad faces winds up completely sucking the life out of the concept."[31]

Grayson Hamilton of Popzara.com was more enthusiastic than most, saying the film "regains speed and ends at the perfect moment, without need to pander to the audience or stretch for a longer screen time", while adding "the level of emotional heft is rare for a Schwarzenegger film, but the action icon carries it better than any other performance of his entire career."[32]

Drew McWeeny of Hitfix provides an overall negative review of the film, saying of Schwarzenegger's role, "we finally have a real performance to judge as Arnold is stripped of pretty much everything he's ever been able to rely on in his work. The result is a close-up study of his limitations as an actor, and a genuinely sad piece of work that he handles well." McWeeny also comments, "Breslin does solid work as a girl who has to grapple with the idea that she will not be able to enjoy the joys of adulthood, and who knows full well what her suffering is going to do to her father.... I honestly wish I liked the film more, but at this point, we've seen a whole lot of zombie movies, and while this one tries to find a new way into the idea, it doesn't do anything particularly new."[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Tribeca Film Festival Schedule". tribecafilm.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2012. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  2. ^ "Maggie". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  3. ^ "Maggie (15)". British Board of Film Classification. June 18, 2015. Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Alberge, Dalya (July 13, 2015). "How Arnold Schwarzenegger came to star in low budget film Maggie". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 15, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2015. It had a budget of $1.4m (£900,000) the director said.
  5. ^ "Maggie (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on April 26, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  6. ^ Scott, Mike (August 29, 2014). "Arnold Schwarzenegger's NOLA-shot 'Maggie' lands distribution deal, plus more Hollywood South headlines". The Times-Picayune. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (June 21, 2013). "Arnold Schwarzenegger Boarding Zombie Project 'Maggie' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on April 18, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  8. ^ "henry hobson directing & design's Videos". Vimeo. Vimeo, LLC. Archived from the original on July 15, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  9. ^ "Home". henryhobson.co.uk. Archived from the original on August 14, 2022. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Gingold, Michael. "Q&A: Director Henry Hobson on Schwarzenegger, Breslin and the Makeup of "MAGGIE"". Fangoria. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  11. ^ Schwarzenegger, Arnold [@Schwarzenegger] (September 23, 2013). "Really excited to start shooting Maggie today with our director @henryhobson and my fantastic co-star, @yoabbaabba" (Tweet). Retrieved April 9, 2015 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Scott, Mike (October 3, 2013). "Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin joined by Joely Richardson in NOLA-shot 'Maggie'". The Times-Picayune. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  13. ^ Hobson, Henry [@henryhobson] (October 26, 2013). "thats a wrap, thank you to all on #maggie, the crew, @Schwarzenegger @yoabbaabba terrific working with you all" (Tweet). Retrieved July 15, 2015 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ Maggie Official Trailer #1 (2015) - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin Movie HD. YouTube. March 25, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  15. ^ Maggie | Trailer (2015). Vimeo, LLC. March 25, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  16. ^ Dsison (April 20, 2015). "Arnold Schwarzenegger in the midst of walking dead zone in "MAGGIE"". Inquirer Pop. Inquirer Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  17. ^ Dsison (April 20, 2015). "Zombie virus transforms Abigail Breslin into a flesh-eating killer in "Maggie"". Inquirer Pop. Inquirer Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  18. ^ Henry Hobson [@henryhobson] (May 15, 2015). "Maggie Posters" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Maggie | Tribeca Film Festival". Tribeca Film Festival. Tribeca Enterprises LLC. Archived from the original on July 15, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  20. ^ Lee, Ashley (April 23, 2015). "Inside Schwarzenegger's First Indie, 'Maggie': A Restrained, Stoic, Gentle Arnold". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  21. ^ Miska, Brad (May 11, 2015). "'Maggie,' Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dated For Home Video". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on October 19, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  22. ^ Hughes, Mark (April 23, 2015). "Review - 'Maggie' Deconstructs Zombie Films, Schwarzenegger And Breslin Shine". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 23, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  23. ^ Lodge, Guy (April 23, 2015). "Tribeca Film Review: 'Maggie'". Variety. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  24. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (April 23, 2015). "Tribeca Review: Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Movie 'Maggie'". Indiewire. Archived from the original on April 25, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  25. ^ Puchko, Kristy (April 24, 2015). "Tribeca Review: Schwarzenegger's 'Maggie' Isn't the Zombie Movie You Expect". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  26. ^ Van Winkle, Dan (April 24, 2015). "Review: Maggie Is an Imperfect But Enjoyable Zombie Drama". themarysue.com. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  27. ^ Han, Angie (April 24, 2015). "Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dramatic Chops Go to Waste in 'Maggie' [Tribeca Review]". /Film. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  28. ^ "Maggie (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandamgo. Archived from the original on December 11, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  29. ^ "Maggie Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 21, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  30. ^ Bourne, Christopher (April 24, 2015). "Tribeca 2015 Review: MAGGIE, An Elegant Zombie Melodrama". Twitch Film. Archived from the original on April 27, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  31. ^ Nemiroff, Perri (April 24, 2015). "MAGGIE Review: Tribeca 2015". Collider. Archived from the original on April 28, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  32. ^ Hamilton, Grayson (May 14, 2015). "MAGGIE (2015) Popzara Review". Popzara.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  33. ^ McWeeny, Drew (May 5, 2015). "Schwarzenegger tries to stretch in slow-burn zombie film 'Maggie'". Uproxx. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved October 23, 2021.

External links[edit]