New to Scarborough: World War Z, 15

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Brad Pitt’s post-apocalyptic zombie action horror has been plagued by rumours of on-set traumas and was delayed six months.

If poisonous word of mouth could slay a picture before it has even screened, World War Z would be as lifeless as the hordes of computer-generated undead that cram every frame of Marc Forster’s ill-fated film.

From this mire though, Forster and three screenwriters have bolted together a compelling survival thriller that is not the catastrophe the gossip-mongers predicted.

Gerry Lane (Pitt) is a retired United Nations investigator, who devotes his time to his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and daughters Constance (Sterling Jerins) and Rachel (Abigail Hargrove).

During a drive through Philadelphia, the Lanes witness the spread of a disease which transforms men, women and children into merciless predators with a single bite.

Gerry’s old boss at the UN, Thierry Umutoni (Fana Mokoena), guarantees Karin, Constance and Rachel passage on an aircraft carrier if Gerry will agree to travel behind enemy lines to discover the source of the outbreak.

The search moves from a military base in South Korea to Jerusalem and finally to a World Health Organisation compound in Wales where Gerry and an Israeli soldier (Daniella Kertesz) join four doctors (Peter Capaldi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ruth Negga, Moritz Bleibtreu) in the frantic race against time for a cure.

World War Z boasts a cracking opening 60 minutes, directed at breakneck speed by Forster, who captures the pandemonium.

It is showing at the Futurist.