Popular culture and cinema often imagine immortality. However, the worst and most disgusting is the one embodied by zombies. It is also the mode that allows you to reflect on all kinds of topics. The premise that encompasses reanimated corpses, whether by magic or science, is recurring. She is at once flexible, mocking and, in the rarest cases, an unwitting social critic. Perhaps for this reason, zombie movies continue to captivate the collective imagination.
Much more, when the film world reinvents the subject in all kinds of possibilities. From families that must face the macabre transformation of one of their members, to the apocalypse turned into philosophical terrain. Zombie movies are part of a darker approach to what happens after death. Which implies exploring the transience of human life. Living forever can be the worst and most twisted ordeal, something these stories often demonstrate.
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We leave you five zombie movies that go through a good number of ideas about survival, fear and, especially, what we consider as human. What if the end of life is the beginning of something worse and far more sinister? From dark analyzes of violence to the most ruthless hunger. The zombie world tour has everything it takes to always be fresh and scary.
Maggie, by Henry Hobson, a zombie movie from another point of view
Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) survives as best he can in the midst of an undead apocalypse. However, his situation is worse than anyone else’s. His daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) is infected with whatever causes the monsters to appear. The character deteriorates before the terrified eyes of her father. He also makes her face an impossible decision. Should he kill the girl before she turns into a ruthless and hungry creature? Will he be able to do it? The possibility is a test of the character’s moral strength and, oddly enough, his sensitivity.
This zombie film explores the nature of these creatures beyond the traditional anonymous groups of rotting figures. Its effectiveness lies in the fact that the conflict is a domestic and family tragedy. It is not about creatures with decomposed flesh or the dangers they represent, but about a dying girl.
The argument becomes painful as Wade’s alternatives become scarcer. Fear and guilt create a believable context for a tragedy in the making. One that, moreover, gradually spreads around the character’s family with the same speed as the infection.
While the zombie movie wasn’t a blockbuster, it’s one of the rare times Schwarzenegger can show more than just his physical strength. He achieves it with a discreet and emotional performance, which makes the suffering of the character and his traumatic end much closer.
Melanie: Zombie Apocalypse by Colm McCarthy
Based on Mike Carey’s book, this zombie story poses the nature of monsters as a scientific enigma to be solved. The global catastrophe has occurred and the cure is a long shot. The combination between a bleak future and the search for answers then becomes a singular dilemma.
What’s the point of trying to understand the reason that triggered the infection when everything was devastated? The argument does not answer the question, but it does raise a tougher one. What if zombies were more than just an aberration?
At least, that shows a group of children born in the midst of the debacle. They are all immune, and while they retain the superior physical abilities of the monsters that dominate the land, they can curb their appetite. It is, of course, an obvious parallel with the classic game and now The Last of Us series. With only one difference: instead of the possibility of hope, the inability to get sick is an anomaly.
So much so that those who do not succumb to living death are hostages used in laboratory tests. The premise of this zombie movie becomes crueler when it makes it clear that the goal of each experiment is not to find a way to stop the infection, but to gain power. Which turns murder and cruel procedures into ambition. Of course, in his final moments, this zombie story manages to settle the premise with some semblance of justice. Despite that, the story is still far more sad than creepy.
Dawn of the dead, Zack Snyder’s zombie movie
The remake of the George A. Romero film retains all of its wild and brutal quality. In fact, the first sequence shows Snyder’s knack for the horror genre. The camera follows nurse Ana (Sarah Polley) on an ordinary morning that ends up being the last in the world as she knew it. The director captures the horror and desolation of a single attack that destroys everything in its path and leaves few survivors. In addition, he builds the feeling of the imminent. In Dawn of the Dead, the worst is always yet to come.
Creating a new version of a horror movie classic is daring. Snyder is skilled enough to infuse this zombie story with his own snappy, over-the-top style. Set against an oversaturated color palette and Richard Cheese songs in the background, twisted reality superimposes tragedy.
The survivors manage to take refuge in a shopping center and, as if it were a capsule beyond the apocalypse, they live together in a strange daily life. The script is smart enough to understand Romero’s film and the references are clear. Much more, when the zombies end up being a threat among many others.
For Snyder, not all monsters are reanimated corpses and he makes this clear as the ties between his protagonists become more murkier. By the disturbing final scene of this zombie movie, it’s clear that survival is not a possibility in a world populated by death. The hardest message of the premise.
World War Z by Marc Forster
Based on the book by Max Brooks, the film explores the zombie apocalypse with the same connotation as a war. Every city on the planet collapsed under the emergency. So quickly that the infectious sources are impenetrable.
Patient Zero is a mystery to be solved and, meanwhile, civilization is falling apart. Garry (Brad Pitt) is an expert who will have to go through the infected areas in search of answers. But first, he will witness what hordes of hungry creatures can do.
It is disappointing that the feature film has left aside the choral discourse of the novel. Also, his sense of the absurd and the increasingly gloomy events that create his map of horrors. All in all, Foster managed to piece together a story that takes Pitt’s character from one place to another. Gradually, the pieces of a biological puzzle come together. Gerry, lost among the waves of monsters, will try to find the answer to the uncomfortable question about survival. What makes the reanimated dead what they are?
In the end, the zombie movie is more ambitious than effective. Also, far less intelligent than its overall doomed premise about the undead attack suggests. Still, it’s an entertaining classic of the genre. At least one with its own personality.
Welcome to Zombieland, by Ruben Fleischer
This atypical Fleischer film begins when the tragedy has already occurred. Zombies destroyed everything in their path and now death rules the world. Here and there, survivors try to avoid being infected and live a rudimentary version of the world they once knew. Especially Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), who discovered that in order to overcome danger, it all comes down to a matter of rules. Accurate, simple and easy to remember. This clumsy solitaire doesn’t need anything else to continue.
For his part, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is carrying trauma. Which doesn’t stop him from discovering that the world ravaged by the unthinkable still has a chance to be fun. Meanwhile, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) traverse the country between malicious traps.
By the time this disparate group finally comes together, this zombie story will show the true dimensions of the dark humor of its premise. Between murders, torn off heads and a memorable cameo by Bill Murray is one of the instant classics of a genre where making people laugh is difficult. But Welcome to Zombieland achieves this through the simple method of making a simple point. Even with the apocalypse in between, the human being can be absurd and endearing.