In the town of Willard, whose name is a reference to the town in the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead, housewife Helen Robinson buys a zombie in spite of her husband Bill’s zombie phobia. Their son, Timmy, befriends the zombie, naming him “Fido”. One day Fido’s collar malfunctions and he kills their next door neighbor, who turns into a zombie. Timmy “kills” the zombified neighbor.
Upon waking, Ana meets Kenneth Hall (Rhames), a police sergeant. They and three others–jack-of-all-trades Michael (Weber), petty criminal Andre (Phifer) and his pregnant Russian wife Luda (Korobkina)–break into the nearby Crossroads Shopping Mall. Inside, a zombified mall security guard attacks the group and just barely bites Luda.
Elsewhere, a woman known only as “Alice” (Milla Jovovich) (though she is not named onscreen) awakens in an empty mansion with amnesia. She finds a picture showing that she is married; other clues, like concealed automatic weapons, suggest she is not a simple housewife. After she steps outside the mansion door, a man yanks her back inside; the two are immediately seized by a group of commandos. The man, Matthew “Matt” Addison, identifies himself as a police officer, but the commandos handcuff him regardless.