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Top 5 Best Zombie Movies

Updated on October 14, 2007

I usually keep my sick fascination with zombies at bay, but with Halloween quickly approaching I decided to let it out and share my picks for the top five zombie movies ever made. Although able to walk around, zombies are undead corpses that lack a heartbeat and the ability to reason. They are merciless, operating on a purely primal level and interested in one thing and one thing only: eating the flesh of others.

1. Night of the Living Dead

The film that started it all, "Night of the Living Dead" was George A. Romero's 1968 thriller about reanimated corpses who emerge from their graves. Although Romero's zombies move slowly, their attack on the inhabitants of a Pennsylvania farmhouse is still terrifying because nothing can deter them from their prime objective, which is to gorge on human brains. The only way to kill the undead is to shoot them in the head and then burn their bodies. This movie spawned (haha, get it? spawned?) many others, and was essentially the prototype for all zombie movies that would come afterwards, with creative license being taken when it came to how fast the zombies could move and what could kill them.

2. Dawn of the Dead [2004]

Originally created in 1978 as a sequel to "Night of the Living Dead", "Dawn of the Dead" was modernized and remade in 2004. One random morning, Ana Clark (Sarah Polley) and her husband Louis are attacked in their bedroom by the little girl who lives next door. After being bitten, Ana watches in horror as Louis rapidly transforms into a zombie and goes after her. She manages to escape, and holes up in an abandoned shopping mall with other survivors. Although similar to the 1978 version, some changes have been made. For example, Romero's zombies moved at a slow pace toward their intended target whereas director Zack Snyder's zombies (similar to the creatures infected with the Rage virus in the film "28 Days Later") are allowed to run. Originally, the dead bodies were reanimated for no apparent reason, but in the remake the affliction is blood borne and is transmitted through a mixing of blood when bitten.

3. 28 Days Later

I'm probably going to get a lot of backlash from including this movie on the list because technically the creatures in "28 Days Later" are not zombies; they are human beings who have been infected by the Rage virus. Rage is a highly contagious virus that is transmitted through the blood within seconds. Once full blown, the infected becomes a blood spewing murderer with an uncontrollable urge to slaughter others with his bare hands. As soon as their blood mixes together, the victim contracts the virus and becomes a homicidal maniac as well. It's been 28 days since lab monkeys infected with the virus were set free by animal rights activists and the outbreak began afflicting people across England. The main character Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakens from a coma to find a deserted hospital and abandoned streets. He meets up with Selena (Naomie Harris) and several others, and they spend their time fighting off the Infected and searching for other survivors.

4. Pet Sematary

Based on the classic Stephen King book by the same name, "Pet Sematary" features Louis Creed as a doctor who is new to the neighborhood. When his daughter's pet cat is run over by a truck, his neighbor Jud tells Louis about a haunted cemetery that makes the pets that are buried there come back to life. Eager to ease his daughter's grief, Louis gives it a shot. What Jud didn't tell him, however, is that the pets are never the same. They are only half alive, angry, and instinctively driven to kill others--animals and people alike. Louis does not learn his lesson, however, and begins resurrecting his family members as well.

5. 28 Weeks Later

It's been 28 weeks since the Rage virus began spreading through England. Most of the Infected have died of starvation, and the U.S. Army has entered to dispose of the dead bodies and hazardous waste, and to help Britain begin to rebuild. Don Harris (Robert Carlyle) is the head of security in the newly repopulated district. He left his wife for dead while he was busy saving himself during an attack. Luckily, his two children were abroad when the outbreak occurred and they are reunited. When the kids leave the secured district to pick up some stuff from their old house, they find their mother hiding out there--alive!! Although bitten, she has a natural immunity to the virus that keeps it from going full blown. But she is still a carrier of the disease, and when she kisses her husband their saliva mixes and he quickly becomes infected, resulting in an outbreak all over again.

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    • profile image

      Derik 5 years ago

      1. Night of the Living Dead (original)

      2. Dawn of the Dead (remake)

      3. Shaun of the Dead

      4. Dead Snow

      5 Resident Evil

    • profile image

      ruffridyer 6 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      At least 28 days made sense. I notice many horror monsters are some form of zombie. Vampires, the Mummy, Frankenstien were all various animated corpses.

    • profile image

      Top Zombie Movies 6 years ago

      I like the fact that you have Night of the Living Dead as No.1. It literally set the rules for all Zombie Movies to come. 28 Weeks Later is also worthy to be in the top 5 as it is a vision of the future of Zombie Movies, and the possible reality of Zombies!

    • datych profile image

      datych 6 years ago from St. Petersburg, Russia

      28 Days Later is the best, nothing compares to it! :)

    • profile image

      meat stick 7 years ago

      Dead girl

    • profile image

      hans007 7 years ago

      1. 28days later...

      2. night of the living dead...

      3. evil dead.../braindead(dead alive)...

      4. dawn of the dead...

      5. shaun of the dead.../zombieland...

      well, i truly say, 28days later, wasn't a zombie movie, but this movie, still remains a place in my mind, due 2v.pleasant atmosphere, that the movie sets......awsum, n marvelous work from Boyle!!!!hats off 2him.....

      its been a long time haven't seen such films....

      having quite high expectation from 28months later....(2011), hope this comes out 2b handy!!!

    • profile image

      Zombie Movies 7 years ago

      I absolutely loved Zombieland. Especially the scene where we see Bill Murray for the first time.

      Another great one for me was 28 Days Later and Shaun Of The Dead.

    • profile image

      ipodmovies 7 years ago

      Zombieland with Woody Harrison was hilarious!

    • sibajar profile image

      sibajar 8 years ago

      Great Zombie hub, I gave it a rate up, I am a big zombie fan too. I got a Zombie Movie Hub www.hubpages.com/hub/Best-Zombie-Movie , check it out and leave a comment, I'd like to know what you think.

    • profile image

      Gore 8 years ago

      All great movies... I have about 50 Zombie movies and i cannot get enough.

    • profile image

      Wyatt 8 years ago

      I have to disagree with people that put 28 weeks later on there....when compared to the first, it is simply just a let down

    • profile image

      Sonshou 8 years ago

      Dawn of the Dead (remake) is not a good movie, it has a concept

      which destroy all the essense of zombies.

      and Resident Evil 2 and 3 movies, destroy the game.

      I watch Night of the Living Dead original, but just a few scenes,

      but I watched full movie of 1990 version, and it is great.

    • profile image

      Noah from Chicago 8 years ago

      Two words DEAD ALIVE!!!!

      Here's mine:

      5. 28 Days Later

      4. Shaun of the Dead

      3. Evil Dead

      2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

      1. Dead Alive

    • profile image

      Sean 8 years ago

      I appreciate you putting 28 Days Later on this list. That took courage. It's my favorite horror movie. It also has the best soundtrack ever (IMO). People may fight against it, but it is a zombie movie. It just has alot more depth and terror than most other horror movies.

      And besides, we can all agree that the 28 days zombies are the ones we would never want to encounter!

    • profile image

      will 8 years ago

      in response to what chris friend said, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie was.....entertaining? i had never heard of it and i bought it for 2 bucks from a guy selling cheap B movies. I watched it a couple days ago and it was absolutly awful. the acting was terrible and the zombies weren't even that good. the only redeming factor was the gore, which was very entertaining actually. not a great movie, pretty much teh definition of a B movie

    • profile image

      Chris Friend 8 years ago

      Still say Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is pretty good. Honest, It's one that most people are totally unaware of.

    • profile image

      Kevin 8 years ago

      1. Night of the living dead

      2. Dawn of the Dead 2005

      3. Resident Evil Series (1-3)

      4. Shaun of the Dead

      5. 28 Days/Weeks

    • profile image

      Chris Friend 8 years ago

      Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a truly excellent l973 zombie film in vivid color and style. Worth searching for. Available through Anchor Bay and well worth it, Honest.

    • profile image

      issues veritas 8 years ago

      #1 is number 1

      #2 is just ok

      #3-5 not so good

    • kimback08 profile image

      kimback08 8 years ago from Barbourville, KY

      thank goodness you didn't list "land of the dead." zombies swimming? i think not.

    • profile image

      gene 8 years ago

      i did not really like the remake of dawn of the dead, here would be my fav zombie movies.:)

      1. night of the living dead

      2. 28 days later

      3. 28 weeks later

      4. shaun of the dead

      5 diary of the dead.

    • profile image

      Rick 8 years ago

      Have you seen the re-make of "Day of the Dead" (set in Colorado). While not great (definitely a B movie), it's worth adding to any true zombie film collection. I enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      moonshadow68 9 years ago from Cabondale, IL

      I absolutely agree, but having just seen Diary of the Dead, I would argue for replacing Pet Semetary with it...Romero being Romero again. It's a great movie!

    • Beancrew49 profile image

      Beancrew49 9 years ago from Palo Alto, CA

      Excellent article, but I dont see how 28 days later couldnt be rated as 1, or 2 at the least. It's certainly a better movie than the Dawn of the Dead remake. 28 Days had a strong message about the nature of the human race. The point of DOTD was to show how scary zombies are.