5 Best Zombie Films of the 21st Century

cillian murphy running away from a zombie

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Here you have it, some of the best zombie outbreak films ever made. Some of these zombie movies are pure gore, whilst other have added a comical twist to their horror story. There are almost too many zombie films being made nowadays and a large degree of them are no better than the acting and production found in low budget student films. However, all the films on this short list are of a high quality and are great fun to watch. So let’s begin…

28 days later

One of the first films to make zombies truly terrifying again after everyone got used to the idea that zombies didn’t have to be outrun in order to survive, you could just outwalk them. This film blew the horror world away when it was released. This gory horror story tells the tale of a man who has just woken up from a coma and has discovered that no-one is in his hospital, or even in the streets of London, where his hospital is based.

infected zombie man in window

Our ex-coma patient, the film’s main character Cillian Murphy (who’s name is pronounced Killian for those wondering) discovers after some time that he is in fact not alone, as he has to escape from some fleet-footed and bloody “zombies”. These zombies who were once living, breathing people had become infected by a transmittable virus that gives its host intense levels of rage.

The virus was being tested on monkeys in a government lab, before it broke out of the contained environment and into the general public. The rage only takes roughly 10 seconds before it consumes its host entirely, if you are bitten by an infected host or if any blood from one of them gets into your bloodstream then you have very little time before you turn into one of them. This is vastly different from the usual lengthy process of “oh no I got bitten by a zombie, I’ll slowly die over a number of days before I turn into a flesh eating zombie.”

blood goes into mans eye

Our ex-coma main character quickly learns what has happened to the world and after teaming up with some other survivors, he battles to stay alive and out the way of the virus, which has consumed the whole of the United Kingdom.

The whole ‘only taking a newly infected person about 10 second to turn’ leads to some EXTREMELY interesting and gory twists. This film is utterly terrifying so do not go into it with a faint heart or a naturally queasy stomach because it can give you nightmares for yearsss. That being said, this is honestly one of the greatest ever horror films that is shot to perfection, so you don’t have to worry about watching a horribly acted or directed film. This whole film is put together like a classic.

Rec

Rec, short for ‘record’, as the film is shot mainly via first person cam recorder (quite like how Paranormal Activity is done) and other parts of the film are shot like any standard motion picture. This is a Spanish horror zombie film. Before you shy away because you heard it’s Spanish just know that this film is awesomeeee. People might be ashamed to admit it but most folk would reject having to watch a film if it was in another language or wasn’t ‘Western made’ because of their own reasons, but if you give this film a chance I can be pretty sure you won’t regret it (if you are of course in the mood for a zombie horror, if you want t a romcom then you definitely will regret it!). Also, if you really can’t get past the language thing then watch the American remake ‘Quarantine’

girl being dragged along a floor

The film is about two reporters who follow a group of firemen out on an emergency call to an old lady’s apartment, which is in a large apartment block. The old lady turns aggressive and starts attacking the firemen, biting one of them in the neck. The reporters, who’s cam recorder is the angle viewers are experiencing the movie via, as well as the firemen soon realise that the entire apartment block has been quarantined and no-one can get in or out of the building.

Soon, members inside the apartment block who are “injured” start to also become as aggressive as the old lady and start attacking other members of the building. The situation escalates as more and more people become infected and the survivors inside try to find safety and an explanation as to what is going on.

Zombieland

This is a comedy horror starring Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg, as well as the star encrusted Emma Stone. The film is hilarious as well as gross.

It follows a shy young man who is looking to meet up with his family in Ohio, who he hopes are still alive. He has created a rule-book on surviving the zombie apocalypse which he abides by religiously, it’s pretty funny and the rules essentially try to keep you safe from things which have been famous ways to die in other zombie films.

zombie slides across a road

The young man meets up with a tough zombie new-world nomad who is desperately trying to find the last Twinkie in the world. That’s not a joke, his life purpose now is actually to find any Twinkies that still exist.  They travel about the US and run into two other zombie survivor girls, who’s own mission is to find a theme park to play around in.

The film is hysterical and even features a very famous cameo, I won’t say who.

Dawn Of The Dead (2004 remake)

This movie is a remake of the zombie classic from the 1970s by the same name. A varied group of zompocalypse survivors hole up in a large shopping mall in order to get away from the undead. They try to stay secluded and protected and the mall provides what seems to be the perfect place for them to do this. But of course this is a zombie film and it would be a pretty boring movie if they succeeded in doing that for an hour and a half of us watching them. Some people might pay to watch a group of people playing mini-golf down the corridors of an empty shopping mall, I might be one of those people, but still there probably wouldn’t be enough people interested to turn the film a profit.

Shawn Of The Dead

Yea that’s right, I just moved from Dawn Of The Dead straight onto Shaun Of The Dead. If you’re looking for the best comedy zombie film then I’d have to go with Shawn Of The Dead over Zombieland, purely from a comedy point of view. This British zombie film is named after Dawn Of The Dead, the 1978 original, not the film mentioned above. It stars the famous duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. This belly-aching comedy horror is full of fantastic lines from the get go and the death scenes are pretty graphic.

zombie enters living room

A group of bang average British people wake up on a normal day and gradually realise that people haven’t just got more antisocial, slow or dumb, but they’ve actually become fully fledged zombies. They start to panic about their new circumstance before they decide upon a plan that anybody from the UK knows is totally fool proof; go to the pub and wait for the whole fiasco to blow over. So that is exactly what this group sets out to do. Their adventure to find their nearest friends and family and head to their favourite pub is the premise for this movie and it just works soooo well. The typical ridiculousness of Pegg and Frost’s movies rarely fails and this is one of the best examples of it succeeding. The humour is stupid but not in a crass way so if you love zombie films and you’re big into your British humour then this is a must-see.

If you think I’ve missed a trick here and there are others zombie films that deserve a place on this list above any of the film’s that i’ve mentioned then please let me know.

Bonus film – Resident evil: Extinction

The Resident Evil games were amazing when they came out. They weren’t that terrifying, they were just cool as hell and the combos you could rack up on them against the bad guys made the characters really bad-ass. Anyway, the film series adaptation is equally as cool as the game and the film ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ is pretty shocking. The film series don’t always focus a lot on the mindless, running, fighting zombies but this particular one does and it’s great.

alice shooting an arrow

You don’t really need to have watched the previous Resident Evil to follow Extinction, all you need to know is that an outbreak occurred in ‘Raccoon City’ that wiped out most of the world’s living inhabitants. The mess the world is in is the fault of the ‘Umbrella Corporation’. This greedy and sinister corporation reduced the world to rubble by creating the ‘T-Virus’ a virus that infects and changes people. However, the virus does not change all people for the worse.

Alice, the main character in the films, is a normal person who was exposed to the ‘T-Virus’ that the Umbrella Corporation created, however, instead of becoming infected and zombie-like the virus makes her stronger in every way and she is genetically enhanced from her exposure.

alice holding a gun

So, backstory veryyyyy vaguely told, here we are at Resident Evil: Extinction. Alice is out in the Nevada desert and runs into a group of survivors who have very scarce rations of food and water and everything else. This group runs through Nevada, ransacking everywhere they can find for supplies and they live how any scavengers would in that situation. However, on top of their already existing problems, they also have to deal with the Umbrella Corporation. Umbrella are still after Alice and they send waves of enemies to fight Alice and her new group in the hope of bringing her in and killing everyone else. The group fight for their survival and Alice has her own vengeance to get with the corporation who brought down the world.

The film is insanely creepy and if your thing is huge fight scenes full of death and blood then this is your zombie movie.

1 comment

  1. Nice list. Agree with it for the most part with the exception of Resident Evil. I would have included 28 weeks later in the list as well. I found it to be just as compelling as the first movie. I thought Colin was a good movie and interesting take on the genre. Hard to watch though and it’s been a while. Might have to go back. Never go back

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