The horror genre has had a renaissance recently, but while many scary topics are in the spotlight, one topic that’s been particularly successful is the carnivorous world of zombies. Since the concept of the living dead was first introduced to people, it’s been a fascinating area, but zombies have recently found unprecedented success in television and movies thanks to the popularity of properties like The walking dead.
Zombies continue to be explored in creative ways that bring new perspectives to the idea, but some of these experiences are more successful than others. There have been some very ambitious zombie projects produced, but not all of them are exactly plausible when it comes to their doomsday scenarios.
Planet Terror is operating cinema B at its most extreme
Planet terror is Robert Rodriguez’s contribution to Grindhouse, a loving homage to the cinema and realism subgenre is the last thing this film thinks of. Planet Terror mission is to be as on top as possible. The zombies are the result of a drastic accident with a bioweapon and the movie is full of free carnage. When the protagonist of a movie has a machine gun leg, it is obvious that he wants to embrace the absurd.
Resident Evil takes its zombies to increasingly ridiculous places
The resident Evil the movies were able to grow into a solid franchise. The popularity of the video game series helped the movies in so many ways, but the movies became their own entity and featured tons of crazy action footage. Between the evil shadow organizations, giant monsters, and the full-scale apocalypse the world finds itself in by the final film, the franchise isn’t exactly concerned with realism.
Zombieland comedy leaves the realm of realism
the land of zombies has built a dedicated following over the years which recently culminated in a sequel. The movies are a lot of fun and great when it comes to the chemistry between talented actors. The end of the movie world storyline prioritizes comedy and a lot of that translates into some amazing ideas. Mankind’s irresponsible actions during this epidemic ring true, but it goes too far.
Overlord creates zombies out of mad science
Suzerain is a fantasy film that looks like a major throwback to the old B movies in the horror genre. The film cleverly takes something as dangerous as zombies and inserts it into a tense WWII drama with great effect. The tension, performance, and special effects are all fantastic here, but there’s no denying that the science involved is very dubious. They are evil doctors who bring people back to life with disastrous effects.
Fido turns zombies into pets
Zombies have been around for so long that there have been some very inventive twists on the genre. Fido, for example, take ferocious zombies and domesticate them and naturalize them to the point where they become common pets for the public. It’s a really fun idea and in this case it’s the spatial radiation that turns the dead into zombies. Still, the concept of people living comfortably with the dead is much to be accepted.
World War Z turns zombies into the end of the world
World War Z It departs considerably from the novel it’s based on, but it’s a good example of how spooky it would be if zombies took over the entire planet. There is a tremendous sense of hopelessness that fills this movie and the scenes that spotlight the hordes of zombies clashing with audiences across the globe are terrifying. Brad Pitt is a reliable leader through this chaos, but it’s just the sheer scale of the zombies and the level of spectacle here that seems too much.
Dead Alive is Peter Jackson’s wild take on zombies
Peter Jackson has grown into one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, but the director’s roots can be traced back to bloody horror films. Undead is a fantastic, ridiculous movie and Jackson doesn’t hold back when it comes to death and gore. The effects and level of carnage can be implausible, but Jackson’s zombie-like virus begins with a bite from a Sumatran rat monkey, which really sounds like a believable origin of an illness.
Shaun Of The Dead is a master of the genre
All of Edgar Wright’s films are absolute visual masterpieces and Shaun of the Dead is his passionate homage to zombie cinema. Wright’s film that pits a recently dumped slacker against the living dead is a comedy, but he understands the genre so well that he always creates terror with its sets and cinematography. Jokes and deaths can be silly, but the ideas offered and the way this disaster is handled all seem realistic and not over the top.
Train To Busan plays with claustrophobia through panic
Train to Busan is a recent take on the South Korean zombie genre that’s a very sophisticated take on the end of the world. The film follows a father and daughter they are separated from as they try to survive this zombie outbreak as they are stuck on a train through it all. It’s a smart, understated concept and the zombies are making an impact. The movie works because of the way it keeps the characters and the audience in the dark.
Night Of The Living Dead helped establish the genre
George Romero is a director whose name is basically synonymous with the zombie genre thanks to how he helped launch it in the first place. Night of the Living Dead is still one of the best versions of the idea and he examines the fear of such fallout with absolute clarity. Romero’s film postulates that radiation from a fallen satellite is responsible for the birth of the living dead, which damages credibility, but everything else seems believable.
Maggie turns zombies into a personal family drama
Arnold Schwarzenegger is best known for his macho characters in explosive action franchises, but Maggie marks some of the actor’s more thoughtful work, which makes it so surprising that it’s also a zombie story. This is an intimate little story about a father whose daughter is turning into a zombie and he is desperate to save her and hold onto his daughter for as long as he can. He approaches grief and loss in a surprising and effective way.
The serpent and the rainbow approach the zombies through voodoo
The serpent and the rainbow is a Wes Craven classic that unfortunately doesn’t get the same level of recognition as his other images. Craven presents a mature and spooky take on zombies and approaches the idea from a Haitian voodoo perspective. There is a real story here with how “living zombies” are created and the movie effectively harnesses that fear. It’s an underrated Craven movie and also features a great performance by Bill Pullman.
Pontypool explores a zombie apocalypse through radio
Pontypool is a Canadian film that looks at a world overrun by zombies, but finds a fascinating angle to explore the crisis. Pontypool takes place in a small local radio station trying to survive and report on this chaos, albeit from their altered perspective. The “less is more” nature of the film goes a long way and even makes the zombies scarier. That being said, the film’s final act goes off the rails and mixes things up in a way that doesn’t really help, but the premise is still strong.
[REC] Not only remains one of the best zombie movies ever made, but one of the most effective examples of how to do the kind of footage found right. An ordinary apartment complex appears to be experiencing a zombie infestation, all explored innocently thanks to a handheld video. Everything here feels real, including glimpses of the government’s response towards the end of the film. It’s a very scary look at how scandals can be swept under the rug.
28 days later, a brutal, raw look at the infection
Danny Boyle is a fantastic filmmaker and he brings his expert style to 28 days later with one of the scariest zombie movies ever made. The idea that a monkey infected with a “rabies virus” is a credible boost for the zombie outbreak, but the film really sells the idea of fear and isolation when Cillian Murphy’s Jim wanders through. a sorry London. The attacks, the responses and the way the government is getting involved all seem real, to an uncomfortable degree.
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