Despite being wary of an incumbent apocalypse, complete with zombies and everything, it won’t be folly to state that the west, especially the Americans have always been obsessed with zombies. Somehow, these brain-eating vicious undead creatures are darkly delightful to watch. Notably, the first zombie movies started cropping up as early as the advent of science fiction and fantasy movies.
With the immense success of movies like ‘World War Z’, we have seen a definite spurt in the number of zombie movies releasing every year. ‘Warm Bodies’ and ‘Zombieland’ are other examples of good, successful zombie movies. With actors like Will Smith, Brad Pitt, et al appearing in mainstream zombie movies, such films no longer remain ignored. Good apocalypse films, especially involving zombies, are always a great Sunday watch. Netflix, however, has a limited number of watchable zombie movies, which might come as a surprise to you, still, they could be watched if you like a good mix of humor, horror, and thrill. Here is the list of some really good zombie movies on Netflix. You can also watch many of these new zombie movies on Amazon Prime or Hulu.
13. Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018)
An action-horror (comedy) at the outset and arguably one of the worst zombie films ever made, ‘Day of the Dead: Bloodline’ is different in the aspect of even calling the creatures zombies, instead, one could hear the word “rotters” quite often. The movie begins with Zoe, a young medical student who is attending a party and is suddenly taken aback by the attack of the so-called rotters. Incidentally, the rotters don’t bite her but have infected and attacked the remaining populace. She soon realizes that the entire city and streets have been infested with rotters. She has been stationed at a refugee camp that houses partially infected and fully sane survivors, and she starts serving there as a doctor, treating minor illnesses while looking for a viable cure. Five years later, the rotters have again come to confront her and her deep dark secrets at the refugee camp. ‘Day of the Dead: Bloodline’ was slammed for being tedious and seriously cliched. Watch it at your own risk!
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12. Rise Of The Zombie (2013)
Directed by Luke Kenny and Devaki Singh, this 2013 Indian zombie film stars Kenny in the leading role as a passionate wildlife photographer called Neil Parker. Neil is so invested in his work that anything else seems just a waste of time to him. His relationship with his girlfriend suffers because of the same reason, and they eventually part ways. Neil puts in more and more time into his work, and in one of his quests somewhere in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, he mysteriously gets bitten by an odd creature. Soon enough, Neil starts transforming into a zombie. The film has an interesting tonal shift as it begins with a quiet and languid pace and then suddenly turns into a gore-fest. If the performances and the special effects were somewhat better, ‘Rise Of The Zombie’ could have been an interesting watch.
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11. KL Zombie (2013)
Don’t worry, the KL merely refers to the city of Kuala Lumpur if nothing else. ‘KL Zombi’ is the telltale of a pizza delivery boy Nipis, who also is a field-hockey enthusiast in his leisure time. As a zombie outbreak occurs in the city, apparently Nipis is the only person who is in charge of fighting them and killing them and he makes it so. Nipis could then be seen slinging sticks and whatever comes to his hand, splattering zombie’s brains and splashing blood all over – perhaps the only highlight of the film. The humor is mostly crass and derived from an overdone script, poor direction, and lackluster acting. Still, ‘KL Zombi’ is one of those rare Malaysian flicks which glorify zombies in a unique, entertaining way.
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10. Mad Ron’s Prevues from Hell (1987)
For starters, this isn’t a movie. It’s a compilation. Leaving the weird title aside, ‘Mad Ron’s Prevues from Hell’ begins with a projectionist Mad Ron who is projecting an assortment of clips, trailers, and compilations to a theatre full of zombies. If that wasn’t hilarious and confusing enough, the elements of the whole movie are “derived” from the goriest, sleaziest, and most bloody movies of the ’80s and prior. However illogical or naive it might seem, ‘Mad Ron’s Prevues from Hell’ still has to be given its due credit for a really engaging compilation – something which hasn’t been ever made for a movie audience and never will be. Watch it if you want to know more!
9. Hungerford (2014)
‘Hungerford’ is a British found-footage-style thriller-horror film that will leave you gasping and at times, make you want to dive behind the relative safety of your pillow. The movie ‘Hungerford’ follows the story of a teenager and his friends through the teen’s video diary project for school. Initially boring and mundane, his video diary suddenly gets interesting as the town of Hungerford is invaded by aliens and zombies. It’s surprising what Drew Casson, director, and the star of the film, was able to pull-off with the tight budget of an indie film. The movie mostly manages to steer away from tired cliches and provides its audiences with a refreshingly inventive spin on the age-old story of vicious flesh-eaters. The characters in ‘Hungerford’ are well-written, with some depth that makes you care what happens to them. Overall, an engaging and entertaining watch that will not make you go “same old, same old” in your head.
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8. Ladronas de Almas (2015)
Set in Mexico during the Mexican Civil War, ‘Ladronas de Almas’ is a Spanish-language film directed by Juan Antonio de la Riva. The movie’s plot revolves around a group of treasure-seeking insurgents who enter a plantation house where only the owner resides with his seemingly helpless daughters. Only the daughters – the three Cordero sisters – are not exactly helpless but are vicious killers supported by a horde of zombies that acts as the first line of defense when people come seeking the hidden loot. An exciting, fast-paced plot keeps the movie from being too repetitive.
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7. Ravenous (2017)
In this visual stunner of a film, the zombies are not totally brain-dead. The zombies in Robin Aubert’s ‘Ravenous’ are intelligent to a degree that they can communicate with each other. The story follows a quickly depleting number of survivors in a remote village in upstate Quebec as they try to outrun the flesh-eating monsters and to a safe place in the woods. ‘Ravenous’ is a magnetic and nuanced French-language drama that will keep audiences engaged from start to finish. The film is predominantly silent and depends heavily on the edgy, scary imagery to successfully build up the dread. Even though the script and the story is nothing new, ‘Ravenous’ still feels fresh.
6. The Girl With All The Gifts (2017)
‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ is set in a dystopian world where a weird fungus has turned nearly all human beings into mindless, flesh-eating monsters. Only a few survive but they live in fear of contracting the infection. When a teacher and a scientist discover that a young girl is unaffected by the fungus, and therefore immune, they start to hope again and make a daring all-or-nothing plan to save humanity. Just when we all thought that the zombie genre was ridiculously over-done, ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ comes and surprises us with its twisted take on the story we’ve heard one too many times before. While it does not skimp on the gore or the scares, the movie is surprisingly emotional and moving. “Emotional and moving” is only used to describe the best zombie films in the history of undead-related cinema (here’s looking at you, ‘Train To Busan’), so this is high praise for ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’.
5. Cargo (2017)
Personally, I feel ‘Cargo’ is one of the worst Netflix originals I’ve ever seen. The only reason probably why this movie is on this list is because of Martin Freeman and him only. The movie begins on a really interesting note, however – in a post-apocalyptic set up in Australia, which is full of aborigines and tribal folk as well, Andy, his wife Kay, and their infant daughter are living off of a houseboat, floating in the water and gathering supplies from abandoned boats.
In parallel, Thoomi, an aborigine tries to save her father from the outbreak but all in vain. Kay is bitten by a zombie as it appears and is taken away by Andy along with their daughter in a van before she turns completely. After abandoning Kay, Andy realizes he’s bitten too and only has 48 hours to take his daughter to a safer place before he turns as well. The rest of the movie is way too predictable and as expected, Andy hands over his daughter to the aborigines by the conclusion. Although the movie has been widely appreciated for the lead performance and being in a very typical Australian setting – something that hasn’t been accomplished before, ‘Cargo’ makes for a somewhat difficult watch as far as international audiences are concerned.
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4. Phobia 2 (2009)
A Thai horror film at the outset, ‘Phobia 2’ is a compilation of five short stories – one of which named ‘Backpackers’ is concerning zombies. The third short story in the sequence, ‘Backpackers’ revolves around two travelers who are on a hitchhiking trail in Thailand. The duo is picked by a trucker who promises to take them to a safer location. After sensing something fishy, it turns out that the trucker was transporting a load of dead bodies and soon, he holds the boy and girl at a gunpoint for ransom. After a while, the bodies come to life and a zombie killing spree begins. The movie remains to be one of the most commercially successful films in the Thai film industry.
3. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
Everyone’s favorite ghost-busters Scooby and Shaggy and the rest of the gang fire up the Mystery Machine and head to the zombie-infested Moonscar Island in the 1998 classic ‘Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island’. This is, without a doubt, one of the darkest Scooby-Doo films ever made. There are real monsters and not just humans pretending to be monsters under a costume, and there are some actual deaths in this film – a rarity in the Scooby-Doo franchise. This time around, Shaggy and Scooby’s too-scared-to-function attitudes might well be justified. With creepy characters and a gripping mystery at the center of it, ‘Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island’ is sheer fun from start to finish.
2. The Evil Dead (1981)
Sam Raimi’s low budget cult classic ‘The Evil Dead’ has been a zombie genre favorite for almost 40 years now. The premise is nothing original – a bunch of youngsters goes to a creepy remote cabin in the middle of nowhere for a night of fun that turns into a night of horrors. In ‘The Evil Dead’, Ash Williams and friends (along with girlfriend) stop at a cabin in the woods and find a book called the Necronomicon, which when read aloud, awakens the dead. So of course, the teenagers have to read from the book. What follows is a relentless killing of the group by the undead zombies, picked off one by one. There is loads of atmospheric horror and imaginative (not to mention disturbing) gore to compensate for any depth in the story or the characters. The film wins on pure enthusiasm for the genre and some really good moments of dark comedy.
1. #Alive (2020)
South Koreans are known to make some great zombie flicks that feature really scary, really fast, and really vicious zombies. ‘#Alive’ is the latest in a long line of fine undead entertainment by South Korean filmmakers. ‘#Alive’ tells the tale of a lone gamer stuck inside his apartment with no food, limited water, no weapons, no way out, and a horde of hungry, hungry zombies threatening to break down his front door. The gamer almost decides to drop the fight because his family is likely all dead, but that changes when he finds another person – a girl – right across his window in an apartment in the neighboring building, and a strange, unlikely friendship ensues. ‘#Alive’ is a fresh take on the zombie genre, utilizing modern-day elements (like social media) as plot devices to flesh-out (excuse the pun) the story. The relationship between the gamer and the girl in the apartment across from his building is so precious that you are rooting for them, hoping hard that they don’t become zombie-chow.
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