Having just watched Ravenous on good old Netflix and with the zombie genre being a favourite of mine, I got to thinking. There have been so many zombie films and TV shows over the years and whilst some, like the original Dawn of the Dead are unadulterated classics of filmmaking, many have more in common with a Sharknado sequel than a Romero classic.
In a genre spurred on through the early noughties by the success of films like 28 Days later and in later years on TV by the juggernaut that is The Walking Dead, the quality of cinematic flesh chompers has been decidedly patchy and separating the aforementioned Dawn from the straight to video bargain bin student home movie quality SyFy channel offerings can be daunting.
The sheer plethora of flesh eating movies gracing our screens over the past decade in itself is overwhelming and trying to keep up with their sheer number impossible.
So, to help you allong, I thought I’d share with you a list of my favourite zombie films from the past 10 years or so. Bon appetitt
The first of three non-English language films on the list, .Rec combines the claustrophobia of a found footage film with the gore of a zombie movie and the terror of a haunted house.
With a cracking final girl, some creepy cinematography and a good few jump scares, this is a fine zombie film that scares and thrills in equal measures.
Oh, and if you haven't seen the American remake (renamed Quarantine in the UK) and have an aversion to subtitles then give it a whirl. It’s not quite as good but is still a decent watch.
The Girl With All the Gifts
It warms the cockles of my heart to have a film from good old Blighty on this list. There's no doubt in recent years the UK has delivered some of the best zombie celluloid action, with films like Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later and its sequel being some of the best the genre has to offer.
Unfortunately, the quality hasn’t always been so rich, with Danny Dyer somehow kept in work with films like Doghouse (should be renamed Shithouse if you ask me) and a stupid attempt to marry gangster movies with the undead in Cockney's vs Zombies.
Thankfully, The Girl With All the Gifts has more in common with a 28 Days Later than a Colin, even if it did fly under the radar for most cinema goers. With a great cast and a tight script this is definitely one to watch.
Oh, and if you haven't read the equally excellent book the film is based on by M. R. Carey then I suggest you hunt that down too.
Ok. Here's the film that prompted my current musings. Other than the odd positive comment on Twitter I had no idea what I was letting myself in for when I fired this up on Netflix but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The acting is good, the characters and zombies decidedly weird and the script pleasantly sparse allowing a sense of dread and tension to build.
What more can I say other than if you like your zombie films slightly off-kilter and have ever wondered what zombies do in their spare time (apparently they stack furniture) then fire up Netflix and give it a whirl.
Train to Busan
Seriously, if you haven't seen this film yet then stop reading and get on your streaming service of choice and watch it. Still here? Then you've seen it and I don’t need to say anything more.
Ok. Just a few more words. This film is fucking awesome. Tense, well-acted and heart breaking. Nuff said.
Ok. This one’s a little left field. Pontypool is one of those rare films that messes with what you think you know about a genre and with just a couple of changes manages to turn the entire premise on its head.
The story follows a 'shock jock' radio presenter who’s on air rants are interrupted by a zombie virus taking over his local town. We never leave the claustrophobia of the radio station and only hear the events unfold through reporters and the stations listeners calling in.
It's fair to say that it’s not the best made film but the central premise generates tension by the bucket load and when the 'infected' finally arrive things explode in a cavalcade of downbeat violence.
Oh, and it’s the only film on the list to have the zombie virus spread by words.
Well there it is. If you haven’t seen any of these films yet then get on line and stream away. I promise you won’t be disappointed.