Since George A. Romero introduced zombie horror to the mainstream some fifty years ago, many writers and directors have turned to it in an effort to scare and disgust their audiences, some with better results than others. While it’s gotten a little oversaturated in recent years, there have been some notable additions to the genre over the past twenty years, so here are the seven best zombie movies over the past twenty years.
7. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
The first entry on the list of the seven best zombie movies in the last twenty years is a remake of the George A. Romero classic, this version relied more on the campness and stupidity of humans in this kind of dire situation. Directed by Zack Snyder, who went on to create another zombie movie in army of the deadthis updated remake sees a new type of zombie, one more intelligent, cunning and devious than the average undead shambler we usually get.
6. Dead Snow (2009)
The first comedy horror zombie movie on the list, the Norwegian dead snow is part Nazi movie, part zombie and all campy schlock. A group of friends set out for a relaxing weekend at a remote ski lodge, only to stumble upon a battalion of long-dead Nazi soldiers fully focused on taking down their new prey. Lots of blood and gore, a few impromptu kills, and a few fun performances make Dead Snow one of the best zombie movies of recent years.
5. REC (2007)
Not to be confused with the less than impressive American remake the following year, the original Spanish version directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza, which threw zombies into the found footage mix with a dose of terror. A poor journalist finds himself in a locked apartment complex, with his cameraman, and in their attempts to follow the story, we end up with visceral deaths and not always predictable fears.
Starring Jesse Eisenberg as the dopey and lovable Columbus, Zombieland begins with the zombie apocalypse well into the swing of things. With its multiple rules – most of which make sense – and nearly unwavering following, we follow Columbus as he tries to make his way through the new world, while dodging zombies, making new friends and overcoming his own fears. Woody Harrelson’s Tallahassee is a major highlight of the film, with its inventive and amusing kills going a long way towards making it a memorable entry in the top seven zombie movies of the past twenty years.
3. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
In the first English film to make this list, Edgar Wright leads a cast of actors, including now-named Simon Pegg and his regular co-star Nick Frost in their attempt to survive the end of the world, in their own way, typically British. . Trying to save his recent ex, his mother, and his stepfather who he doesn’t get along with, Shaun of the Dead is both hilarious and surprisingly gruesome. For every stand-in or callback to an earlier scene, we see a certain amount of bones and guts.
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2. Train to Busan (2016)
The most recent entry on the list, Train to Busan is everything you’d want in a zombie movie. A confined space, an end goal for freedom, fractured relationships, and lots of zombie-slaying fun. Set entirely on a train as it heads towards Busan (it’s funny), a father and daughter go to visit her mother when all hell breaks loose. With improvised kills, graphic deaths of the main cast, and a few scenes of a stacked fist Ma Dong-Seok fighting zombies, you won’t regret giving this foreign-language film a chance.
1. 28 Days Later (2002)
Number one on the list of the seven best zombie movies of the last twenty years, 28 days later Set in London right in the middle of the wave of zombie deaths, it follows a young Cillian Murphy’s Jim as he wakes up in a hospital with no idea what has happened or what to do . In another entry on the list where something new is introduced, “zombies” are able to run, jump, and are incredibly fast and mobile, which makes the threat of getting eaten all the more real and dangerous.
What movies have I missed on this list of the seven best zombie movies of the last twenty years?
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