10. World War Z
World War Z is as much an action movie as it is a zombie movie; the scale probably tips in regards to the former. Although the movie is far from a faithful adaptation of the original source material, if you detach it from that, World War Z is a thrilling, zombie-infested romp.
Produced by J.J. Abrams, Overlord is a campy and gruesome period piece set in an alternate WWII. Supernatural, evil Nazis abound, the film does tread familiar ground, but manages to separate itself from the pack. Worth a watch, maybe two, Overlord will have you screaming in fear (and delight).
8. 28 Weeks Later
Much like our previous entries, 28 Weeks Later leans heavily into the action. The film kicks off with a bang with an incredibly intense opening sequence that will leave your jaw clenched for the majority of the film. It’s not nearly as good as the prequel, but 28 Weeks Later is still more than worth a watch!
7. Resident Evil
An oldie but a goodie, Resident Evil kicked off a movie franchise that spawned five sequels and lasted over a decade; that’s staying power! This film has a much stronger emphasis on ‘traditional horror’ than its successors, making it a fan favorite. As enjoyable as it was in 2002, Resident Evil holds up surprisingly well to modern standards.
6. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Dawn of the Dead is a remake of the genre-defining film, released in 1978, of the same name. Faster paced and more reliant on jump-scares than its predecessor, the film is in many ways more palatable to audiences of today. This movie also helped launch the ‘zombie-plagued mall’ trope that’s extended to TV and video games. Sleekly produced and well-acted, Dawn of the Dead is an immensely entertaining experience.
A found-footage film set in a quarantined apartment building, Rec. is a nail biting and truly frightening movie. As a mysterious virus rapidly spreads through the building’s residents, brutal and violent deaths follow. The atmosphere is incredibly tense, the setting a nightmarish hellscape, and hope is nowhere to be found — that’s a pretty good summation for Rec. If that doesn’t excite you, we don’t know what will!
#Alive is a zombie movie for the COVID Age. Mirroring the isolation many of us currently face, the film follows a hapless gamer’s desperate attempts to survive a zombie siege of his apartment. Sprinkled with funny and poignant moments, #Alive is a fantastic and light-hearted, albeit gory, Korean Zombie Flick.
3. The Night Eats the World
The Night Eats the World is a realistic portrayal of a ‘normal’ man facing the zombie apocalypse. Rather than transforming into a fearless slayer of the undead, he turns inwards, holing up in the blood-stained apartment of his ex-girlfriend. It’s a fresh twist in an often stale genre. A hidden gem that deserves much more love, The Night Eats the World will leave you feeling hopeless in the best way possible.
2. Train to Busan
The second entry from South Korea on this list, Train to Busan is undisputedly a modern horror classic. It’s a perfect blend of frenetic action, well-timed humor, and hordes of flesh-craving undead. Even people who don’t usually enjoy scary movies will find themselves hooked, it’s just that good!
1. 28 Days Later
28 Days Later single-handedly reinvigorating the zombie genre, not to mention ushering the era of ‘fast zombies.’ This movie is utterly terrifying. You’ll have nightmares for weeks of the infected howling with murderous rage, eyes glowing a sickly red color. Not only is it scary, but 28 Days Later is also thought-provoking and serves as a sharp political allegory.
If there’s one zombie movie you stream tonight, it should be this one.