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Look, I can go backwards.
~ Vivian's few words before the beginning of the infection.

Vivian is a minor antagonist in the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. Though she plays a comparatively minuscule role in the story, she is the very first zombie encountered in the film and directly responsible for Ana being spurred into her attempts to survive the outbreak.

She was portrayed by Hannah Lochner.

Biography

Vivian is first seen in the opening when Ana arrives home from work to find her skating around the driveway. Clearly on good terms with her neighbor, she approaches her and she talks about skating with her, showing off the new skating trick she's learned - namely going backwards. After telling Vivian they can do more skating tomorrow, Ana parks the car and heads inside.

The next morning, while Ana and her husband Luis are still asleep, Vivian unexpectedly enters, now a zombie: judging by her pajamas, she was presumably attacked while in bed, either by her infected parents or by a zombie home intruder. It's possible that she only succumbed to infection very recently, hence why she appears disoriented rather than openly violent at first. It's later discovered that the front door was broken down, accounting for how she got in, but it's not certain why Vivian bothered to break in, given that there were more than enough uninfected targets out on the street; however, characters speculate that zombies are drawn to things that were important to them while they were still living, such as the shopping mall in which the majority of the film is set. With this in mind, Vivian may have actually have been trying to get help from Ana and Luis before she finally succumbed to the infection, only to continue her search for help as a zombie.

Because both Ana and Luis have both missed the news reports about the outbreak of the zombie plague and slept through most of the chaos so far, neither of them know the threat that Vivian poses. So, when Luis awakens to find Vivian standing in the doorway with a massive wound on her face, he is naturally concerned for her health, and after telling Ana to call an ambulance, approaches her to get a closer look at the damage. It is at this point that Vivian seizes the advantage by biting Luis on the throat and tearing out a massive chunk of his neck.

Grabbing her from behind, Ana is able to wrench Vivian away from Luis without getting bitten herself, and throws her out into the hall. However, the zombie child recovers very quickly, springing to her feet like a cat and charging back down the hallway; Ana barely manages to shut the door and lock it before Vivian can reach her. While she tries to break down the door, Ana tends to her husband, trying to staunch the blood loss as best as she can before calling an ambulance. Unfortunately, with the state of emergency having left the lines engaged, no help can be found. Seconds later, Luis dies in the background and is reanimated as a zombie.

Ana barely manages to escape via the bathroom window, managing to reach her car and driving away, pursued by Luis. Vivian is not seen again after this introductory scene: after realizing that Ana was nowhere in the building and Luis was a zombie, she left to pursue other victims.

Though Vivian was presumably a good friend of hers, Ana barely showed any signs of grief to what had become of hr, instead focusing her attention on Louis - likely a matter of prioritizing his safety over that of a dangerous attacker (as a trained nurse, Ana would have been familiar with the need to triage). Likewise, both Vivian and Luis remain unmentioned after Ana's escape from the outbreak in her neighborhood, presumably because discussing them is simply too painful for her to countenance.

Personality

From her brief introductory scene with Ana, Vivian seemed a nice enough person when alive, mainly focused on sport and athletics. It seems Ana was her only friend in the neighborhood, as she seemed delighted to see her and spent most of the intro hanging around with her instead of members of her own age group.

As a zombie, Vivian was little more than an animalistic murderer, hell-bent on killing and infecting everyone in her path. Initially disoriented (presumably due to being only recently reanimated), she begins attacking as soon as Luis is in range, going directly for the jugular and inflicting wounds that would kill within minutes. As with all zombies, Vivian displayed automatic rage, attacking with no tactics other than mindless violence and continuing to batter at the door without showing any inclination towards finding another way in.

When she was alive, Vivian wore athletic gear such as a pink halterneck, elbow pads and a black helmet, and jeans, and she overall appeared very healthy. As a zombie, she wore a pink nightgown and was immediately distinguished by the injury that infected and presumably killed her - namely her bloody, torn-open lips.

Gallery

Images

Trivia

  • Vivian's attack has been labelled one of the scariest moments in recent horror films, and is listed amongst the scariest opening scenes in a horror film, because of how suddenly she transitioned from an ordinary neighborhood girl to a ruthless killing machine..
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