Zombies are a staple of the horror genre. They were once our family, friends and even strangers on the street, but now they have a taste for human flesh and they are coming for you! The undead is a very popular choice for bringing us sheer horror, exciting thrills and blood-soaked entertainment but since there are so many to watch, let’s countdown the Five Best Zombie Films that are not only exciting to watch, but are also a great representation of the undead at their finest.
#5 – Train to Busan
A South Korean film delivers on thrills and heavy suspense with this zombie story told on a passenger train. A father is taking his daughter to the city of Busan when all of a sudden, passengers start turning into zombies and begin attacking people onboard. It’s learned that a viral outbreak is to blame but the entire story is told on the cars of the speeding train. With some unexpected surprises, some intense zombie action, a great showing of social commentary and a shocking ending, Train to Busan is a thrilling piece of zombie entertainment and a welcome surprise from South Korean filmmakers!
#4 – Shaun of the Dead
When a slacker and his roommate, who has nothing good going for him, seem at wits end, their lives change when zombies arrive and make things interesting. Simon Pegg and Director Edgar Wright write this hilarious comedy of battling the undead all while trying to find some true love along the way. From the endless jokes, references to other zombie films and just a sense of fun, Shaun of the Dead is a bloody good comedy! It also marks the film debut of Nick Frost who portrays Shaun slacker roommate. Their on-screen chemistry is what makes the film work and their bumbling plan to survive the onslaught of the living dead is something that will have you laughing the entire time. Don’t forget your pint!
#3 – 28 Days Later
A different take on the zombie genre that in fact brought it back to the mainstream. This is story of a viral infection that is spread through chimps that are infected with something called “Rage”. The virus is very similar to the Ebola virus, from which this movie is inspired by. The group of people we follow seek refuge with the military to learn more about what’s happening, but that’s only the beginning of their problems. Instead of zombies eating your guts or walking slowly, these undead are fast running! They vomit blood and have piercing red eyes (symptoms of the real-life Ebola virus). It’s a fantastic film but scary in terms of how the screenwriter, Alex Garland, blends a real infection and the possibility of what would happen if the population were exposed to it. It’s a movie that will make you think, scare you and leave you wanting more. Too bad the sequel never fared to this masterpiece of storytelling.
#2 – Dawn of the Dead (2004)
One of the best remakes/reimaginings ever made and also the debut of Zack Snyder (best known for Batman v Superman & Justice League), Dawn of the Dead is very different from George A Romero’s 1978 classic film of the same name. Tossing aside the social commentary, pokes at capitalism and those slow-moving zombies, this version is fast-paced, brutal and more like an action movie than a horror film. The plot is essentially the same; a group of survivors seek shelter in a mall while the undead are outside waiting for the live ones to make a mistake. With great action sequences, fast-running zombies and white-knuckle tension, Dawn of the Dead is not only an amazing debut for a director but respects the original material by not copying it and instead opting by working on its own terms. You want a fast-paced zombie flick, then look no further. I do recommend the original cut as the Director’s Cut slows the movie down with some unnecessary scenes.
#1 – Night of the Living Dead (1968)
“They’re coming to get you Barbara.”
One of the most iconic lines from any horror film, George A Romero’s first movie changed everything we thought we knew about the horror genre. Featuring cannibalism on film, audiences were shocked at the level of violence at the time it was released. It may be tame by our standards, but this was the late ‘60s. Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf-Man were still considered scary. This would be the film that lay the foundation for what a zombie, undead or ghoul was. The plot involves a group of people who hold up in a farmhouse trying to make sense of the chaos that is happening around them and everywhere else. A fantastic cast who created memorable characters, the zombie effects are still effective to this day and was the one film that made audiences fear the night. This is the Godfather of Zombie Films and it’s such a shame that Romero never lived to see his creation turn 50 years old (which was last year). He may be gone, but his legacy will always be remembered. If you love zombies, then Night of the Living Dead is a must-have for any hardcore horror fan.