I feel this film is still a metaphor for consumerism.
Everyone would enjoy having the opportunity to be alone in a mall, doing anything you wish. This is seen during the film when the survivors start to enjoy themselves, breaking the rules of the mall which under normal circumstances would have controlled them, by smoking, drinking, spray painting the walls, trying new clothes and even making a sex tape. The mall provides a sanctuary from the zombies, (the song ‘Don’t Worry be Happy’ was playing in the background when they first entered) allowing the survivors to relax and do as they wish. Harper states “the survivors create a shopping utopia for themselves, a place where they can temporarily ignore the threat of the zombies.”
The zombies are drawn to the mall for an unknown reason and it’s suggested that it’s due to some form of basic instinct. It also suggests a soulless consumption.
I liked Harper’s comparison of DOTD to teen dramas (which are the more tradition films to be set in a mall) such as Clueless.
The remake also conveys how death has become a game, through the scenes where the gun shop owner shoots the celebrity look-a-like zombies. It is a sick game in which he is allowed to effectively shoot people without repercussions, somewhat fulfilling some deep seeded fantasy.
I feel the film is a good demonstration of how our lives are dominated by such pointless, material goods. The mall is full of brand new merchandise, however virtually all of it is worthless to the survivors. When faced with death, one realises that materialistic items are insignificant. The film boils down to being about life vs. death and order vs. chaos (seen when they escape the chaotic outdoors and enter the clam and tranquil mall). We see the death of civilisation and order.
Many apocalyptic films end with a glimmer of hope for the human race, and show how humans always prevail. However with DOTD the remaining survivors, after battling against the odds, are met with more zombies and ultimately death. I feel in recent times this have become more common with films, damning the human race, saying there is no hope for humanity.