George A. Romero didn’t invent the concept of the living dead or even coined the term “zombie”, but he defined the zombie movie with the 1968s. Night of the Living Dead, one of the greatest horror films ever to be made. Romero’s film was so effective that like John Carpenter’s Halloween a decade later, horror filmmakers would continue to shamelessly scam him for decades. The zombie and slasher genres are essentially the result of widespread plagiarism. But zombie movies have always been more beholden to Romero’s narrative setting than slasher movies were to Carpenter’s.
Almost every zombie movie features a gang of survivors locked in one place, riding the apocalypse, dying one by one. The genre was in danger of losing its ability to scare audiences away, but luckily a handful of directors came up with a vision unique enough to the living dead to stand out from the crowd, and there is still hope for the films of. zombies, while other genres like westerns and blacks have mostly faded into obscurity.
ten 28 days later
Even though no one else is afraid to call 28 days later a zombie movie, director Danny Boyle was always hesitant to label it as such. Technically, Alex Garland’s script isn’t about the dead coming out of their graves to eat the living; it is about a virus which suddenly makes you taste alive. But in the end, it’s basically the same – except these zombies, unlike Romero’s strolling undead, can run around.
Real innovation in 28 days later is its grainy, semi-realistic tone and narrative setting. Instead of following the start of a zombie apocalypse, 28 days later follows Cillian Murphy’s Jim as he wakes up from a coma a month after the zombies arrived. He is bewildered to find the streets of London empty and wakes up abruptly when he learns what has happened to everyone.
Julius Avery Suzerain presents himself as a luscious WWII actor in his first act, as American troops parachute from a crashing plane and seek refuge from Nazi officers patrolling the streets.
But by its third act, it’s a full gore festival with overpowered SS zombies throwing the protagonists around a secret underground Nazi lab filled with revived soldiers.
8 Life after Beth
Instead of opening up with the booming zombie apocalypse, Life after Beth takes the time to tell the story of patient zero in the mold of an offbeat romantic comedy. Zach (Dane DeHaan) is shocked to discover that his recently deceased girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza) has returned from the dead and that her parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) are keeping her locked in the house.
Zach bust her, only to find that zombies don’t exactly make ideal romantic partners. The beauty of Life after Beth it’s that he’s applying the zombie narrative to a whole different genre. It stands to reason that zombie movies are horror movies, but Life after Beth made it work as a rom-com.
seven Train to Busan
The action-packed South Korean gem Train to Busan sees a self-centered businessman taking his estranged daughter on a train trip across the country to stay with her mother and fight the rapid spread of a zombie plague he unwittingly helped create.
Yeon Sang-ho reinvented the zombie in this movie with hordes of ravenous, sprinting undead flocking to living flesh in droves, and it was the first time that zombies were truly creepy in years. Icing on the cake, the set-up of the story – much like in Bong Joon-ho’s similar genre piece to the train Snowdrops – becomes a powerful metaphor for class warfare.
6 The dead don’t die
Jim Jarmusch brought his tongue-in-cheek humor to the zombie genre with The dead don’t die, a set piece whose loosely structured storyline takes place in a peaceful town called Centerville as it faces a zombie uprising.
The star-studded cast includes beloved actors such as Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, and Carol Kane. Plus, musicians like RZA, Iggy Pop, and Tom Waits make delicious meta cameo appearances.
5 To glide
Prior to directing big budget blockbusters for Marvel and DC, James Gunn was known to make original little horror films filled with dark humor. To glide is a prime example. It takes place in a small town whose inhabitants are turned into zombies by alien slugs.
There are many similarities between To glide and Fred Dekker The night of the crawlers (which is also worth a visit for fans of tongue-in-cheek horror films), but both films borrow so shamelessly from so many famous horror films that the accusations of plagiarism that flooded message boards looked a lot like cutting them off. hair in four.
4 Warm bodies
One of the preconceptions of the zombie genre is that its stories are told through the eyes of the living as they desperately try to survive. Corn Warm bodies is told from the perspective of one of the living dead.
Nicholas Hoult plays a zombie who falls in love with an uninfected human, played by Teresa Palmer. Warm bodies isn’t just an unconventional zombie movie; it is also an unconventional love story.
3 the chicks
Co-written by Sawis Leigh Whannell, the chicks is a dark comedy about elementary school staff as they fend off their zombified students after a mutant virus arrives in the cafeteria via a faulty batch of chicken nuggets.
The cast is full of fan favorite B-listers: Elijah Wood, Office‘s Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Lostis Jorge Garcia, SNLis Nasim Pedrad and Jack McBrayer.
2 The serpent and the rainbow
In order to subvert the conventions created by Romero, Wes Craven went even further back in the history of zombie stories than Night of the Living Dead to influence his underrated 1988 film The serpent and the rainbow. The idea of ââthe zombie was born with Haitian slaves, and the first zombie films were about voodoo rituals.
Craven combined these two influences in The serpent and the rainbow, which stars Bill Pullman as an anthropologist studying voodoo drugs used in religious ceremonies in politically divided Haiti to create living zombies.
1 Shaun of the Dead
In their hermetic script for Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg basically took the basic structure of a Romero zombie movie and translated it into a British romantic comedy. The result is a horror comedy that functions effectively as a horror film and effectively as a comedy (which is surprisingly rare).
Shaun and Ed wake up with a bad hangover, find the world has been overrun with the living dead, and plan to round up their loved ones and take them to the pub to get out of the End of the World.
NEXT: Shaun Of The Dead: 10 Ways He Established Edgar Wright’s Style
The 10 best movie endings, according to Reddit
About the Author