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3. 28 Days Later (2002)/28 Weeks Later (2007)
The 28 Days Later series is a particularly iconic British zombie-horror fest. After years of watching American towns and cities getting ravaged by zombies, this is the first time 21st Century Britain gets its zombie makeover.
28 Days Later presented a new kind of zombie; rabid, fast and smart – shown with animals as well as humans which, compared to George A. Romero’s films, was a vast difference. One thing to note is John Murphy’s incredible soundtrack for both 28 Days and 28 Weeks Later. “In The House – In A Heartbeat” is a memorable song used in both films to set an intense scene and bridge the five-year gap between movies. This is definitely a series that will be remembered for years to come, and leads us nicely onto our number two…
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2. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
One of the most well-known films in British cinema history, Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 comedy-horror directed by Edgar Wright, starring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
Shaun (Pegg) is just an average 30-something guy. He lives with his best friend Ed (Frost), his relationship is falling apart, and his entire existence is nothing more than dull. When his town becomes overrun with idle zombies, Shaun has to step up and protect his girlfriend and his family from the infected. This film is perhaps most memorable for its use of vinyl records as deadly weapons, as well as the iconic line “let’s go to the Winchester, have a pint and wait for this to all blow over”, which epitomises the British attitude to a potential zombie horde.
1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead paved the way for zombie horror films way back in 1968.
The first film in an eventual six-film series may prove to be mild in comparison to the zombie movies of today, yet it remains timeless. Simply put, the dead come back to life and eat the living; and society’s notions of ‘zombies’ derive partly from Romero’s films – zombies come back to life to eat the brains of the living, but they are sluggish, slow and stupid. To truly understand the malleable world of zombie films, Romero’s releases must be explored as they are the origin. Night of the Living Dead created a horror genre that has lived on for over fifty years, a genre that doesn’t show any signs of stopping.