Are you ready for something completely different?! This quarantine has us all going a little crazy. And watching a lot of movies!
I love movies – but mostly action, drama, romance, comedy or musicals. I rarely watch horror movies. I don’t like horror for the sake of horror – I dislike scenes with gore, violence or scares simply for their own sake. I am okay with those elements if – and only if – they are necessary to move forward a really good story.
That said, I love a great story that is expertly told with flawless acting and directing… and if that story happens to be in the horror genre, I’m okay with it as long as it’s a terrific movie. That’s how I came to be a fan of these zombie movies – because they each feature great storytelling and a unique take on the genre.
Without further ado, here’s my first-ever list of my favorite zombie movies to entertain you while a global pandemic rages right outside our doors. Seems strangely fitting, no?
- The Girl With All of the Gifts (2016) – I watched it last weekend, and this film is still haunting me. The main character is not just a little girl, but a little girl of color. How many movies can say that? And what a great actress Sennia Nanua is – not just for a 13 year old, but for anyone. Her performance is riveting and makes the whole movie shimmer. Come for her dazzling turn on screen and stay for the surprise ending that makes this truly unique among zombie films. Two thumbs up!
- Train to Busan (2016) – Although this is a Korean film with English subtitles, I barely noticed after the first few minutes because the action here is so incredible. This is a fast-paced film that will have you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Great character development, another winning young girl in a major role and an overall terrific story make this a highly enjoyable ride. Watch out for super fast, super scary zombies!
- I Am Legend (2007) – Combine a sad, yet incredibly buff Will Smith, a beloved dog and the scariest fast zombies (or are they vampires? Kind of both I think?) imaginable, and you get a truly unforgettable movie. The scenes of an empty NYC will be strangely familiar, since that’s pretty much how it looks right now during Coronavirus lockdown. Let this be a lesson to us all! Or something.
- 28 Days Later (2002) – This was one of the first “fast zombie” movies I ever watched, and it utterly terrified me. The plot and acting here are so good, and it’s such a great overall movie, that I can almost overlook the freakishly frightening, furiously fast “rage” zombies. Almost. There are some good, strong female characters here as well as some really crappy male ones. Definitely worth a watch – if you dare.
- World War Z (2013) – I’ve already written at length about Brad Pitt’s excellent zombie epic, because it has a wonderful combination of great acting, compelling storyline, minimal gore and terrific special effects (the zombie walls/waves are spellbinding here). Plus, there’s a kickass, strong female character. You can’t go wrong!
Bonus: I know I said there would be five, but I can’t leave out Maggie (2015), a strange little independent zombie flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in an oddly moving performance. The father-daughter relationship is a unique focus for a zombie flick, making this absolutely worth a watch.
So, there you have it – movies any movie lover should love, whether or not you typically like zombie or horror movies.
Vampire movies are another horror sub-genre I typically make exceptions for – I’ve always been a big fan of blood suckers. Perhaps I’ll share my top favorite vampire movies next.
Do you have a favorite sub-genre of horror films like I do, or are you either all-in or all-out on horror? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or over on Facebook. And remember, horror movies can actually be cathartic or even therapeutic during a time like this!