On the occasion of the release of the recent “Peninsula”, the sequel to the excellent “Last train to Busan”, it’s time to look back on 5 emblematic zombie films of the seventh art. Five must-see films to start a solid culture of the genre.
Night of the Living Dead (1970)
You might as well start with the classic of the classics. George A. Romero is the undisputed master of zombie movies. The American filmmaker has revolutionized the genre on several occasions. In 49 years of career the late director has staged indisputable classics of the genre such as Zombie, Day of the Living Dead or of course the film which revealed it in 1970: Night of the Living Dead.
The story is simple and confronts a motley band of individuals with the living dead who wake up at night. The director decides to use the fantastic approach of the genre, by offering the dead rising. At this stage, we are still a long way from zombies resulting from a bacteriological virus. And the creatures don’t know how to run yet.
Night of the Living Dead is a huge classic of horror cinema, and remains a pioneer. An immemorial work that defined the codes of the genre. Modern zombie films still owe much to George A. Romero today. He is the first and above all the best to talk about the social problems of American society through the zombie film.
28 days later (2003)
Small jump in time to arrive at 28 days later, the huge classic from Danny Boyle. Worn by Cillian Murphy, 28 days later remains a huge benchmark of the genre. From the opening scene, the British director has captured the attention of his spectators by placing his favorite actor in a totally empty London city. A way to approach a story of zombies in an innovative way.
Danny Boyle’s film is at the same time sublime, hopeless, aggressive, magnificent. It offers a very impressive staging, and mastered to the millimeter. The film also owes a lot to John Murphy’s soundtrack, totally unforgettable. For a budget of $ 8 million, 28 days later grossed over $ 85 million at the box office. A more than positive result which led to the start of a suite directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, released in 2007: 28 Weeks Later.
Army of the Dead (2004)
In 2004, the world of moviegoers discovered a brand new and extremely promising director: Zack Snyder. Long before offering aesthetically hallucinating works like 300 Where Sucker Punch, the American filmmaker directed Army of the Dead.
Worn by Sarah Polley, Jake Weber or even Ving Rhames, Army of the Dead is an awesome remake of Zombie, Romero’s classic released in 1983. Zack Snyder takes the story of his elder brother but offers an ultra modernized staging, light years away from Romero’s film. This time the zombies are running, and are of unprecedented violence.
Army of the Dead is a gripping and very spectacular feature film. Even if Zack Snyder moves away from political discourse on mass consumption invested by Romero, it nevertheless offers a muscular film, which borrows as much from the codes of terror as from the codes of action films.
Army of the Dead is a terribly effective film, offering charismatic characters, and extremely fast zombies. Zack Snyder’s talent was born. For a budget of $ 26 million, the film had grossed more than 102 million at the box office.
Zack Snyder will also be back soon with his new zombie movie, Army of the Dead, which will be released soon on Netflix.
Small tour through Spain with the incredible Rec. Directed by Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero, the film tells the fate of Angela, interpreted by Manuela Velasco, a journalist sent to report in a building, to cover a mission of the firefighters of the city. But what she doesn’t know yet is that the building is infested with zombies.
Rec has become an absolute benchmark of the genre, awarded three prizes at the Gérardmer Fantastic Film Festival. Rec is definitely the most terrifying on this list. The horrific springs are terribly well mastered, and the realization in found footage adds a lot of tension to the work.
Hard, violent, stressful, unexpected, and terribly creepy, Rec boosts the heartbeat and remains one of the most nerve-racking zombie movies of the 2000s. $ 32 million in box office revenue, Rec turned out to be a huge success and resulted in the production of three suites, which did not meet the same triumph.
Last train to Busan (2016)
Before staging Peninsula, Sang-Ho Yeon revealed himself …