The 5 Best True-to-Form Zombie Flicks

Real zombie movies need only apply

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3 min readNov 4, 2022

Photo by Yohann LIBOT on Unsplash

Has anyone else been in a recent fog when it comes to zombie movies?

Do you feel like the line between what’s considered a zombie movie and movies about deadly viruses or germs has become one big blurred zombie ball of confusion to the point where your delicious brain can no longer distinguish the difference?

If you’re unsure what qualifies as a zombie movie these days, it’s not a post-apocalyptic toxic waste of cloudiness you’re experiencing.

The problem comes from multiple movies that share the same basic plot line, ie — a person coughs, licks, or does some other action leading to the risk of entire world extinction.

The zombie genre has been bent to include all kinds of human anatomical takeovers including aliens, parasites, and other forms of mind possession.

This is understandable considering how similar these movies are to zombie movies but at their core, they aren’t what makes a traditional zombie film.

Traditional zombie movies are a little more violent and bloody than those other genre knock-offs and there’s one distinct feature a true zombie movie has that can lay all this uncertainty to rest.

Say it with me, “A zombie movie is a movie in which the people bite each other to spread the condition of post-mortem cannibalism, aka zombie-ism.”

Fair enough? Okay, my Top 5, in no order.

#5. Night of the Living Dead, 1968, directed by George A. Romero

Where else would we start? All modern zombie movies owe credit to this 1968 American-made one. It seems like a strange year for this movie’s release considering what was happening in the world, but then again probably not. Shot in black and white(the trailer has had some sort of technicolor treatment), the scenes and sequences are every bit as thrilling as any recent horror film.

#4Shaun of the Dead, 2004, directed by Edgar Wright

At first, I had no desire to watch this British-made movie after seeing the previews believing it wouldn't satisfy my zombie craving. However, I was pleasingly surprised. It broke conventions with its comedic tone while still maintaining some zombie intensity, be it on a much lesser scale, that z-fans love.

#3. Warm Bodies, 2013, directed by Jonathan Levine

Here’s another British comedic take on flesh-eaters based on the novel and as near to a rom-com as you can get. It delivers thrills and comedy while venturing into new territory, using two levels of zombie-ism and experimenting with love as the cure for its wretched state.

#2. The Girl with All the Gifts, 2016, directed by Colm McCarthy

Yet another British-made film based on a novel. True to the zombie core, this flick uses children as a convention, one in particular, to unnerve us, and it works extremely well. Who knew, all you needed to do was take the innocence of youth and flip it on its ass! What could be more frightening than kids who appear normal but could snap and go zombie ape shit on you any second?

#1. World War Z, 2013, directed by Marc Forster

Released in 2013 alongside the British-made Warm Bodies, this novel-based American z-movie crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s of a traditional zombie movie including a pretty epic outbreak scene. The settings changes from one country to another made it seem all the more plausible for how a real zombie apocalypse would happen.

In closing

I realize there are some arguable omissions. For instance, Zombieland and 28 Days Later are two obvious possibilities that jump to mind, but what are you gonna do? Let me know what other choices I could have put on this list.

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