Zombie films will always have a special place in every movie addict’s heart. The concept of Zombies has been here for thousands of years and even the Bible mentions them.
And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. – Zechariah 14:12
There are different classifications, stories, and ideas about Zombies, some are gory and horrific. While some are scientific, we have different versions of Zombies from Frankenstein to the good and idealized Zombies that resurrect from the dead.
In Pop culture Zombies are often depicted as flesh-eating, undead with a decaying corpse.
TV shows like the Walking Dead have revitalized the Zombies in our mind, and whether they are simply a product of our imagination, superstition, culture, religion, and fear, zombies will remain interesting and fascinating for humans.
History of Zombies
It was the Ancient Greeks who were the first civilization to feel terrorized by the idea of Zombies or the undead. Archaeologists have unearthed a lot of ancient graves that contain skeletons that were pinned down by rocks, and other heavy objects, and there is this assumption, that the goal was to prevent the dead from coming back to life.
In countries like Haiti, Zombie folklore was very much alive for many centuries, possibly around the 17th century, when West African Slaves were brought in to plow the fields of sugar field plantations. Slaves felt the brutality of their condition and longed for freedom, and many would often associate the life of slaves to that of Zombies or the horrific plight of slavery.
In Asian countries like the Philippines, there are so many folklores and stories involving Zombies. In Visayan Mythology they have the Amalanhig also called as ‘ Maranhig”, they are called Aswangs or night monsters who failed to transfer their monstrosity to their offspring and potential successors. When this happens, they need to rise from their graves to kill humans by biting their necks.
Films with zombies concept would always be entertaining because it gives people a sense of what if? While watching survival instincts kick in, and hormones in the body react, there is a fight or flight instinct that keeps the blood warm and running. Even if we reach the year 3000, we would probably still be making Zombie movies. Here are the 11 Zombie films that made us cringe and want more!
1. 28 Days Later (2002)
This British Post Apocalyptic film is Directed by Danny Boyle and written by Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Christopher Eccleston, and Megan Burns.
This Zombie movie changed zombie aesthetics completely. It molded the genre to what it is now. The Zombies in this film got infected through a virus, and they became feral as a result. The Zombies in this film were fast, increasing the tension of movie Zombie plots. It remains one of the most influential modern Zombie films. Boyle created the image of a Viral Apocalypse that would end the world as we know it. The Zombies in this film are savage, bloodthirsty and gave moviegoers the real adrenaline rush that is to be expected from a Zombie film.
28 Days later was immensely successful because it gave everything in between, the light and dark, the what-ifs, the terrifying moments, and a healthy cultural commentary along the way.
2. I am a Hero
I am a Hero is a Japanese zombie manga created by Kengo Hanazawa. It then had a live-action film adaptation directed by Shinsuke Sato starring Yo Oizumi, Kasumi Arimura, and Masami Nagasawa and premiered in 2016.
This Zombie film was about Hideo Suzuki, a 35-year old manga artist assistant who seems to be stuck in a dead-end low-paying job. He suffers from low self-esteem and encounters major problems in life, including his girlfriend leaving him because of getting fed up about their living conditions.
One day the world of Hideo would be shattered, a new disease nicknamed ZQN would turn people into homicidal maniacal zombies. The zombies in this film were able to retain their last memory when they were living. There are so many memorable scenes in this Zombie film that would really trigger your gut.
The fight scenes are really creative and immersive, it will make your blood rise with fear and excitement. The lead character would sport a shotgun while running for his life, meeting and saving strangers along the way. This makes it to one of the most memorable Zombie films ever created and would definitely be worth your time.
3. Train to Busan” (Yeon Sang Ho, 2016)
Train to Busan is one of the highest-grossing Zombie films ever released by South Korea. It has the complete elements of balance, from a burst of comedy, romance, and love for family and sacrifice. This film solidified the career of actor Gong Yoo who plays the role of Seok-woo, who is a workaholic.
When the world began to collapse and a strange virus turned people into zombies the lead character and his daughter were forced to board a train. While inside the train people aboard started transforming into zombies and in the most hideous ways. Not only that, the film depicts the evil that is present in the human heart as well as greed.
4. Dawn of the Dead (2004 film)
Dawn of the Dead is a 2004 American action horror film directed by Zack Synder. It is a remake of the 1978 film by George A. Romero and stars Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, and Mekhi Phifer. In this movie, the remaining survivors of the Zombie apocalypse lived inside a shopping mall located in a fictional town called Everette, Wisconsin.
They were trapped inside but were still able to live in luxury despite the fact that outside of the mall the zombies are everywhere. This Zombie film was destined to be iconic, and the scenes inside the mall were engaging, the characters are all memorable leaving you wanting more. It was released on March 19, 2004, and grossed $102million worldwide against its budget of $26million. The film received a 75% approval rating from 185 critics in Rotten Tomatoes and was described as a kinetic, violent and surprisingly worthy remake of George Romero’s horror classic.
5. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
What could be scarier than Zombies that can talk and express their desire to eat brains!
This 1985 film is a definite classic and will remain in the top Zombie film category of all time. It contains the aesthetics of the ’80s, a tinge of comedy and it is highly addictive, creative and amusing for a Zombie film genre. It is definitely an Influential Cult Classic!
6. Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead received critical acclaims on Rotten Tomatoes, scoring 92% among 207 critic reviews. The film was able to balance scares, witty satire and described as a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit. It is gory, entertaining, amusing and gloriously gory horror comedy to the delight of genre fans.
7. Rec (2007)
Rec received a whopping 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, it is described as a nightmarish hellscape of an apartment complex under siege.
With its quick pacing, brutal jump scares, and unpredictable ending, REC does an admirable job of modernizing the shambling ghouls introduced in George A. Romero’s Living Dead series.Amanda Waltz ( Rotten Tomatoes comments)
Found footage zombie horror at its best, “[REC]” takes an interesting approach at the idea by sending in one camera man and a reporter as they follow a group of firemen called to a scene, only to be quarantined in the apartment building with unexplainable attacks by humans. Much eerier than the American remake titled “Quarantine”, Manuela Velasco, an actual reporter from Spain, plays the lead part much more convincing than her counterpart in the American version, played by Jennifer Carpenter. With a mostly predictable plot structure, the execution of the scares are key and although “[REC]” isn’t perfect and often hits many of the same notes, the overall product is alluring enough to be memorable, especially in an exclamation point ending with some reveals that are left out of the American iteration, including some gut wrenching makeup and prosthetic design. For a found footage foreign horror film, “[REC]” is at the top of the list.Christopher H ( Super Reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes)
8. Night of the Creeps (1986)
This Zombie film will take you to a memory lane trip in the ’80s. It is funny, cheesy and will also make you squirm. If you are looking for something fun to watch this week, while at the same time staying true to your need to see a Zombie flick then this is the right film for you.
Night of the Creeps is a classic in every sense of the word.Rotten Tomatoes
9. The Night Eats the World (2018)
After a depressing night at a party, a man wakes alone in an apartment building in an even more depressing situation. The infected have ravaged France overnight, leaving him completely isolated and one of the last remaining people alive in the world. He only has himself (and an infected stuck in an elevator) for company, but he can’t even trust his own thoughts.
This Zombie film is surely going to be loved by introverts who love watching Zombie films.
The calm, almost sedentary pace of the film and its abundant visual findings justify a production that is not destined to revolutionize post-apocalyptic cinema, but that puts its grain of sand thanks to the great interpretations
10. Juan of the Dead (2011)
Juan is 40 years old, most of which he spent in Cuba doing absolutely nothing. Juan’s only emotional tie is his daughter, Camila, a beautiful young girl that doesn’t want anything to do with her father because the only thing he’s good at is getting into trouble. Suddenly some strange things start to happen, people are turning violent attacking one to the other. Juan was first convinced it’s just another stage of the Revolution.
Little by little Juan and his friends start to realize that the attackers are not normal human beings and that killing them is quite a difficult task. They’re not vampires, they’re not possessed, but they’re definitely not dissidents; a simple bite turns the victim into other violent killing machine and the only way to beat them is destroying their brains. Juan decides that the best way of facing the situation is making some money out of it….. — (C) Official Site
11. One Cut of the Dead (2017)
While shooting a low-budget zombie film in an abandoned warehouse, the crew find themselves caught between actual zombies and a mad director who won’t stop rolling. If you think you know what happens next, think again. Filmmaker Shinichiro Ueda turns the film on its head more than once for one of the wildest, funniest, and most surprising zombie movies of all time.