Zombie movies are a recent phenomenon in the horror genre. The first zombie film, White Zombie, was released in 1932 and since then they have become increasingly popular.
These films usually follow a group of survivors as they try to escape from an onslaught of zombies who are either hungry for flesh or just want to kill everyone because their brains give them power.
Zombie movies are a subgenre of horror films that typically depict the reanimation of human corpses who then eat living humans and infect others. The word “zombie” is taken from a Haitian voodoo belief that some people can be controlled by an outside force without their knowledge, or against their will.
These movies have been around for so long because they’re always suspenseful to watch.
BEST ZOMBIE MOVIES
What Are Zombie Movies?
Zombies are a popular horror movie trope that has been around for decades.
There is no set way to define what a zombie is, but most people agree that zombies are reanimated corpses who will stop at nothing to eat human flesh.
The first known zombie movie was White Zombie in 1932 and since then there have been many movies about zombies including Night of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and I Am Legend.
What Are Zombie Movies
Zombie movies are a popular genre of horror film that typically focus on the fictional undead creatures who feed on human flesh.
These films have been around since 1932, but in recent years they have become more mainstream with notable directors like George Romero and Lucio Fulci working to create their own zombie classic.
Today’s zombie films come in all shapes and sizes, from the slow-moving zombies of “The Walking Dead” to the fast-running zombies of “28 Days Later.”
In this article, we’ll explore why people love watching these films so much, what some of your favorite zombie movies are, and whether or not Hollywood is starting to run out of ideas for new ones.
Best Zombie Movies
Let’s jump right into what we consider to be the top zombie movies you can watch right now!
Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead is a horror film that follows four human survivors who are holed up in a shopping mall after the zombie apocalypse has just begun, trying to fend off both zombies and other survivors.
The movie is often considered one of the best zombie movies ever made.
It’s considered by many to be one of the best zombie movies ever made for how it portrays gore and terror so realistically that it’ll make your stomach churn!
If you’re looking for a thrilling horror film with an iconic poster, then the 1978 remake of “Dawn of the Dead” is your best bet. In 1978 George Romero directed and wrote this ultra-gory zombie masterpiece that has been hailed as one of the most important films in American cinema history.
The movie follows Francine (played by Gaylen Ross), who along with 6 others, takes refuge inside a suburban shopping mall after a plague infests their town and turns everyone into flesh-eating zombies.
Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
Night of the Living Dead (1968) is a horror film directed by George A. Romero, which follows five people trapped in a rural farmhouse and their attempts to survive an onslaught of living dead.
The 1968 cult classic, Night of the Living Dead, is a horror film that is regarded as the first modern zombie movie. It was directed by George A. Romero and written by John Russo.
The story follows a group of people who are trapped in an abandoned Pennsylvania farmhouse and try to survive while they are attacked by zombies outside.
Romero tells the story of Ben, who travels to rural Pennsylvania to visit his sister and her family, only to find them slaughtered by ghouls.
He escapes into the woods and soon meets up with Barbra who then team up with other survivors in a house.
28 Days Later (2003)
The British film 28 Days Later is one of the most influential zombie films in recent history. It was released on May 23rd, 2003, and stars Cillian Murphy as a man who wakes up from a coma to find that he’s the only survivor after an animal rage virus has killed everyone in Great Britain.
The movie stars Cillian Murphy as Jim, a man who wakes up from a coma to find his world ravaged by an unknown virus that has killed most of the population and turned many into zombie-like creatures.
The movie follows Jim (played by Cillian Murphy) as he attempts to find his way back to his wife, Hannah (played by Naomie Harris).
Throughout the course of the film, we see Jim face various obstacles and deal with a variety of different emotions– from fear to anger and everything in between.
In the movie 28 Days Later, a group of animal liberation activists releases chimpanzees infected with a highly contagious rage virus. The virus spreads quickly and within days is worldwide epidemic.
Zombieland is a 2009 American zombie comedy film that was directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The story takes place in the aftermath of an apocalypse, where zombies have overtaken the world.
The movie stars Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee, Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus, Emma Stone as Wichita, and Abigail Breslin as Little Rock.
Tallahassee drives through Los Angeles to find a Twinkie for his younger sister’s birthday cake when he meets up with Columbus who has been searching for one ever since he saw Zombieland on TV.
They go on a road trip together to hunt down supplies in order to battle against other survivors
Jesse Eisenberg portrays Columbus; an overly neurotic college student whose anxiety causes him to be separated from his friends for most of the movie (he has a fear of flying).
Emma Stone portrays Wichita, an attractive blonde woman with a strong southern accent who bears several scars on her body from previous encounters with zombies (her father was killed by one).
Train To Busan (Busanhaeng) (2016)
Train to Busan (Busanhaeng) is a South Korean zombie film that follows the story of Seok-woo, a businessman who takes the night train from Seoul to Busan in an effort to save himself and his daughter.
Train To Busan’s success can be attributed to its blend of horror with action sequences as well as its focus on family values.
Train to Busan (Busanhaeng) is a South Korean zombie thriller that was released in 2016. The movie follows the story of an investment banker, Seok-woo, and his daughter Soo-ahn as they board a train from Seoul to Busan by way of Mugunghwa train line with other passengers such as Jin-hee and her father.
What none of them knew about the trip was that there would be zombies on their route!
Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 comedy horror film written and directed by Edgar Wright. It stars Simon Pegg (who also co-wrote the screenplay) as Shaun, an employee at a local London electronics store who lives with his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield).
He starts to see zombies around town from some odd occurrences; he becomes increasingly paranoid about it until one night when they break into his house and attack him. Shaun manages to fight them off but doesn’t tell anyone what happened because he knows how crazy it sounds.
That is until more zombies show up in their neighborhood, including Liz’s mum Barbara (Penelope Wilton), whom she had told that she needed help looking after her son David for the day.
Night Of The Comet (1984)
Night Of The Comet is a 1984 American science fiction comedy film written and directed by Thom Eberhardt, and starring Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, and Robert Beltran.
It is the first of several films to be released under the Night of the Comet title but bears no relation to the original novel by Raymond F. Jones.
The film tells the story of two sisters in a post-apocalyptic world where an event has killed most of humanity and turned others into zombies. The sisters take refuge in a shopping mall after their car breaks down outside it.
The film was shot over a period of three weeks in November 1983 on an estimated budget of $200,000. It was released theatrically by Columbia Pictures on December 2, 1984 and grossed $6,941,929 at the box office.
Reviews were mixed; critics praised its humor but criticized its low-budget special effects.
Night of the Comet was nominated for two Saturn Awards for Best Horror Film and Saturn Award for Best Actress (Catherine Mary Stewart).
It also received three nominations at the 5th Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Catherine Mary Stewart) and Worst Screenplay (Thom Eberhardt).
Juan Of The Dead (2012)
Juan of the Dead is a 2012 Cuban zombie comedy directed by Alejandro Brugués. The film stars Raúl Juliá as Juan, an office clerk who must find a way to save his family and friends from the growing number of zombies around Havana.
This movie tells the story about Juan, who is an unemployed slacker and his friend Rafael, who has been working for years.
The two men are randomly selected to be part of a special military team that will go after zombies on their own island. At first they don’t believe in zombies at all but soon enough they find out it’s not just any regular zombie apocalypse – it’s Cuba!
When the dead start to return from their graves as zombies, Juan reluctantly joins forces with his friends Lazaro and Cucho to save Havana from total destruction and become the city’s hero.
Little Monsters (2019)
Little Monsters is a 2019 zombie comedy film written and directed by Abe Forsythe. It stars Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, Josh Gad, and Diesel La Torraca.
The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2019. It is scheduled to be released in the United States on October 11, 2019, by Neon.
Dave (Alexander England), a washed-up musician who volunteers to chaperone his nephew’s kindergarten class field trip after taking a shine to the teacher Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o).
On the way there, their school bus passes through an open gate at a US Army base where a zombie outbreak has occurred. The kids are let out at the zoo part of the base and Dave tries to keep them safe from the zombies.
Wild Zero (1999)
Wild Zero (1999) film Wild Zero is a 1999 Japanese zombie rock ‘n’ roll b movie, written and directed by Tetsuro Takeuchi.
It stars the garage rock band Guitar Wolf, along with Masashi Endô, Sachiko Suzuki and Shigeru Izumiya.
The film is based on a fictionalized version of the band’s members, as well as their actual music playing a significant role in the film.
The story follows Ace, Guitar Wolf and Bass Wolf (the members of the titular band) as they rescue Tobio from a gang of aliens that have taken over the town.
Tobio joins them and together they journey to save Tobio’s girlfriend from being sacrificed to the aliens’ leader.
Scooby-doo On Zombie Island (1998)
Scooby-doo On Zombie Island (1998) follows the gang on their trip to an island where they are told there are zombies.
As usual, there is much more going on than what meets the eye and it’s up to them to uncover all of the mysteries with their trusty dog sidekick.
What would Scooby-Doo do if he had to go on a ghost hunt and run into zombies?
This is the question that was asked of us when we were given the chance to watch this classic cartoon. The show has been remade many times, but never quite like this one.
This time, it’s an all-out zombie fest where Scooby and his pals are trying to find their way back home from a haunted island.
Resident Evil (2002)
You may be wondering why this topic is important. Resident Evil, a movie that came out in 2002, set the tone for future horror films of the same genre.
The Resident Evil franchise is a popular video game series with the first installment released in 1996. The games are survival horror and the original title was developed by Capcom.
Since then, there have been numerous sequels to the original which has made this an iconic gaming series for many gamers around the world.
Resident Evil is a 2002 American-Japanese science fiction horror film written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, starring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez.
It’s set in an abandoned mansion populated with zombies as well as other creatures that are intent on killing all of the living humans within its walls.
Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man) (1994)
Dellamorte Dellamore, also known as Cemetery Man, is a 1994 Italian film written and directed by Michele Soavi and stars Rupert Everett.
The movie follows the story of Francesco Dellamorte, an undertaker in a small town near Rome who becomes obsessed with finding out what lies beyond death.
The film is a surrealistic fantasy that tells the story of a man who works as a cemetery custodian in an Italian village. The job suits his personality since he has a morbid fascination with death.
He becomes obsessed with preventing any more murders from occurring while trying to solve the mystery behind them. The film is known for its poetic dialogue, bizarre storyline and its black comedy mix of humor and horror.
Dead Of Night (Deathdream) (1974)
Directed by Bob Clark, Dead Of Night (also known as Deathdream) is a 1974 horror film.
A young soldier is killed in the Vietnam War and the family is sent the death notice back in America.
He returns home as a vampire and survives on his victims’ blood.
28 Weeks Later… (2007)
28 Weeks Later… is a 2007 post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who co-wrote it with Rowan Joffé, Enrique López Lavigne, and Jesús Olmo. It is the sequel to the 2002 film 28 Days Later and stars Robert Carlyle.
The story centres on the United States Army’s efforts to salvage a safe zone in London after a deadly virus outbreak.
It was nominated for Best British Film at BAFTA Awards. At the end of February 2016, it has grossed $64 million worldwide from a budget of $15 million.
Versus is a Japanese horror film directed by Ryuhei Kitamura.
A group of ruthless gangsters, an unknown woman, and an escaped convict have met, in The Forest of Resurrection, the 444th portal to the other side.
Their troubles start when those once killed and buried in the forest come back from the dead.
Night Of The Creeps (1986)
Night of the Creeps is a 1986 horror comedy film directed by Fred Dekker. It stars Tom Atkins as Detective Ray Cameron who investigates mysterious murders committed by an extraterrestrial zombie-like parasite that can take over and animate dead bodies with the goal to transform into a human host.
The movie features many nods to classic horror movies like Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).
Night of the Creeps is a 1986 horror-comedy film that was written and directed by Fred Dekker.
The plot revolves around two police officers, Tom Beckett and Chris Romero, who are called to investigate a series of bizarre murders in the small town of Midwich Valley.
What they discover is that an alien life form has taken over people’s brains as they sleep and all evidence points to one local college student named Jody Danker as he slept at his girlfriend’s house on Halloween night.
I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
I Walked With A Zombie is a 1943 American horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur, and starring Frances Dee, Tom Conway, and James Ellison.
The film is considered one of the early zombie movies and a defining film in the genre.
The story concerns a nurse who is hired to care for the wife of a plantation owner on a Caribbean island. She discovers that the woman may be the victim of a voodoo curse.
The film was produced by Val Lewton as a follow-up to his horror hit Cat People (1942). In 1999, I Walked with a Zombie was listed in the United States National Film Registry, having been deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress.
Warm Bodies (2013)
Warm Bodies is a 2013 American zombie romance film based on Isaac Marion’s novel of the same name.
It stars Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, and John Malkovich and tells the story of a young man named R (Hoult), an unusual zombie who retains his humanity after being infected with a disease that has turned most people into zombies.
R falls in love with Julie (Palmer) while they are trapped inside an airport during what might be humanity’s final days as an epidemic spreads across the earth.
In this horror-comedy movie, zombies are usually mindless creatures that will eat any living thing they find, but one day R meets a girl named Julie Grigio and something changes inside him.
He starts to feel emotions again and he begins to change into more than just a brainless creature because of her.
Planet Terror (Grindhouse Presents: Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror) (2007)
Planet Terror is a 2007 American action horror film directed by Robert Rodriguez. It follows a group of people attempt to survive an onslaught of zombie-like creatures as they feud with a military unit.
Planet Terror takes place in and around the fictional town of Santa Mira, California, which was once isolated from the rest of the world.
A meteorite carrying alien pathogens falls to Earth and infects the residents of the town, turning them into flesh-eating zombies.
At the same time, a military arms race involving biological weapons occurs at a nearby US Army base, resulting in similar outbreaks among its personnel and those living in neighboring towns.
Zombie (Zombi 2) (1980)
Zombie (Zombi 2) is a 1980 Italian horror film. It was directed by Lucio Fulci and stars Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Al Cliver, and Richard Johnson.
The film follows the exploits of two scientists who go to Haiti for research on the dead returning to life in an effort to discover a cure for cancer before it becomes uncontrollable.
In the 1980 horror film, Zombie (Zombi 2), a group of people are terrorized by zombies who have been created from an experimental drug.
The zombies in this movie are exceptionally terrifying because they walk and talk like humans but when killed, their heads explode into pieces.
The zombie sub-genre of horror film is a uniquely challenging one because it’s the only genre in which the audience becomes an active participant.
The viewer has to puzzle together clues about what causes zombies and how they might be stopped, all while working out their own personal fears of death, the unknown, and helplessness.
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (Don’t Open The Window) (1974)
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974) film Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a 1974 Spanish-Italian horror film, written and directed by Jorge Grau.
The film is an example of the subgenre of the zombie film known as zombie-giallo, which combines elements of horror and the detective mystery genre with that of slasher films.
The plot concerns two young hippies who unwittingly stumble upon a series of murders being committed by zombies created by contaminated pesticides.
World War Z (2013)
World War Z is a 2013 American apocalyptic horror film directed by Marc Forster, and starring Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a United Nations employee who traverses the world in order to find a way to stop the zombie pandemic that has taken over.
The screenplay for this movie was adapted from Max Brooks’ 2006 novel of the same name.
The film starts with retired UN employee Gerry Lane driving his wife off to work when zombies attack their city.
Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
The 2004 remake of the classic zombie movie ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ is a classic horror film that will make you jump and scream. Though it’s not as good as the original, this movie has many similarities to the 1978 version.
The movie is a remake of George A. Romero’s 1978 horror film that follows four human survivors who take refuge in an abandoned shopping mall after most of the world has been taken over by zombies.
The 2004 remake of the cult classic film Dawn of the Dead is a great re-imagining. The zombies are fast and cunning, which adds an additional element to this horror flick.
Day Of The Dead (1985)
Day of the Dead is a 1985 American independent horror film written and directed by George A. Romero and the third film in Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series, being preceded by Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978).
The film focuses on a small group of military personnel and scientific researchers who attempt to understand and control an epidemic of zombies while trapped in a remote military base in Florida.
The story takes place several months after the onset of the zombie apocalypse. It’s considered one of the all-time classics of the zombie movie genre.
One Cut Of The Dead (Kamera O Tomeru Na!) (2019)
One Cut Of The Dead (Kamera O Tomeru Na!) is a 2019 Japanese zombie film that tells the story of a group of documentary filmmakers who are attempting to document the last days of humanity.
The crew films their journey as they head towards the center of Tokyo in an effort to find out what has been causing this sudden epidemic, while also trying to evade flesh-eating zombies along the way.
Throughout their journey, they come across various survivors and meet up with other groups that have formed small communities in order to survive.
The film primarily deals with relationships, focusing on how people can be so caught up in their own lives they fail to see what’s going on around them.
The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)
The Return of the Living Dead is a 1985 American zombie film written and directed by Dan O’Bannon. The film tells the story of two punk rockers, Johnny (played by James Karen) and his girlfriend Terry (played by Thom Matthews), as they are chased by zombies across America.
The Return of the Living Dead was a landmark in horror cinema and it revolutionized what it meant to have an undead zombie.
The zombies were no longer just slow-moving flesh-eating creatures; they now had a more gothic punk look that included spikes through their faces and Mohawks on top of their heads.
The film tells the story of how an epidemic of unknown origin has caused reanimated human corpses to rise from their graves and seek to spread their condition to new victims.
Although this movie was released in 1985, it still remains fresh today with its blend of humor and horror that doesn’t feel dated.
Dead Alive (1993)
This black comedy tells the story of a young man named Lionel who lives with his mother and father in New Zealand during World War II.
For a horror movie, the Dead Alive story is pretty lighthearted. The film was directed by Peter Jackson and tells the story of a man named Lionel who finds himself in an unfortunate situation after his mother becomes infected with a rare disease that transforms her into an undead zombie.
Re-animator (1985) is a horror/comedy film, starring Jeffery Combs as Dr. Herbert West. The film was loosely based on the H. P. Lovecraft story of the same name and tells the tale of West’s attempt to create a reagent that can bring life back to dead tissue by using his newly discovered Mixture which he calls “the Re-Animator”.
One day while experimenting with this mixture, Dr. West wounds up creating a zombie in one of his lab rats who proceeds to escape its cage and kill all occupants in the laboratory.
In the horror-comedy Re-animator (1985) by Stuart Gordon, Dr. Herbert West is a mad scientist who’s hell-bent on conquering death itself.
He has no qualms about experimenting with dead bodies and when he meets Dan Cain, he sees an opportunity to test his theories of reanimation on living tissue.
We all know that zombies are the undead, and they’re usually mindless. But in the 1985 movie “Re-animator” a scientist finds a way to bring people back from the dead without any of their physical or mental defects.
This film is very different than your traditional zombie movie and it makes for an interesting watch.
[Rec] is an intense horror film about a reporter and her cameraman who are making a documentary on the fire department.
When they go to investigate an apartment building, they find out that it has been infected by some sort of virus or disease which turns people into vicious zombies.
After being attacked by one of these zombies, the two reporters end up trapped inside with them while they try to figure out how to survive and escape from this living hell.
[Rec] is a 2007 Spanish horror film directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza. It was written by Javier Balagueró, Jaime Balaguero, and Paco Plaza.
The plot follows a TV reporter and her cameraman who are covering the night shift at an emergency services call center in Barcelona when they receive a call from someone trapped inside an apartment building that’s on fire.
Common Characteristics Of Zombie Movies
Some of the most popular movies in recent years have been zombie-themed. They are often fast-paced, and full of suspenseful moments that keep people on the edge of their seats.
You may not know this, but zombies have been around for a long time. They’ve been in movies dating back to the 1950s and they’re still as popular today as ever before. One of the most common characteristics of any zombie movie is that humans are always trying to escape from them. The question is: why?
With their decaying flesh, slowness, and extreme hunger for human flesh it seems like zombies would be easy enough to outrun or kill with even just a small firearm. But what’s so dangerous about these monsters that makes humans fear them so much?
Zombies are a popular trope in horror movies and books. They have been around since the 1930s when Victor Halperin directed White Zombie, which was loosely based on Voodoo folklore.
Zombies are usually depicted as mindless creatures that can be killed if you destroy their brain or cut off their head.
The term “zombie” is derived from Haitian folklore where it referred to people who were raised from the dead by a powerful sorcerer called bokor to work in plantations without pay
What do all zombie movies have in common? This question has been on the minds of many since Night of the Living Dead first graced movie screens in 1968.
What’s more, this question is a hot topic for film-makers and audiences alike as zombies are one of today’s most popular monsters.
To answer this question, there are some characteristics that nearly every zombie film shares with its audience:
- flesh-eating creatures who prey on humans,
- slow-moving (or uncoordinated) creatures who can’t be reasoned with,
- they’re typically armed with their teeth and claws only to attack survivors at close range.
What Makes Zombie Movies Scary?
Zombie movies are among the most popular horror genres. They often make people scared because they show a post-apocalyptic world where zombies have taken over and humans are struggling to survive.
This is why zombie films can be so thrilling, but it’s not what makes them scary.
What really makes these movies terrifying is that their scenes of violence and gore feel real, as if they could happen in our own lives at any time.
It’s this fear of the unknown that scares us more than anything else, which is why we get chills watching characters fight for their lives against an army of undead corpses with bloodthirsty intent.
Do you enjoy watching zombie movies? Do they scare you, or are they just a fun way to spend an evening with friends?
Zombies are scary because they represent the unknown. They’re not living or dead; they’re something else entirely.
For some reason, we find this ambiguity terrifying, especially when combined with their relentless hunger for human flesh!
You know you’re watching a scary zombie movie when the protagonist is running for their lives and they finally find refuge in an abandoned house.
They try to barricade all the doors and windows, but it’s no use because zombies are everywhere! The scene then cuts away to show how many people have been killed by zombies so far.
Who doesn’t love a good zombie movie? I don’t care if it’s campy or serious; it always has me on edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. What exactly makes these movies so frightening?
It turns out that there are four key elements needed for a film to be classified as horror:
- suspense, and
These elements create fear by exploiting human vulnerability.