The Reasons Why Zombie Movies Are Popular

There are various genres and subgenres of “zombie” movies. Some movies and TV series fall into categories such as comedy or romance. Creative writers have no limits to what they can envision. When we think of “zombie” movies, we typically envision violence as well as ugly monsters, but not all zombie movies fall into this classification. There are a few movies (and series) that are not quite as scary but which are worthwhile to be mentioned. In “The Returned” (2015), directed by Getzinger, Campillo, et al., the town’s people do not know what to do when local people presumed dead return to their families. This show asks what it would be like if long-lost people had to re-insert themselves in society. Another remarkable series along the same lines is Australia’s “Glitch” (2015), directed by Freeman and Krawitz, a story about a policeman who discovers that six people who look perfectly normal have just risen from the local graveyard, one of whom happens to be his long-lost wife. The zombies in “Glitch” are quite likable, giving viewers the opportunity to feel empathy for them. In the French movie “They Came Back” (2004), directed by Campillo, thousands of people return from the dead in hopes of reintegrating themselves into French society, only to find out that it would not be not so easy. For anyone who prefers a captivating zombie story-line with likable characters, I would suggest these three shows in which good often triumphs over bad.

Movies have been traditionally known to help viewers find enjoyment and relaxation at the end of the day. Horror films seem quite the opposite, even psychologically disturbing. Moreover, zombie movies are usually grotesque, so it makes sense that people would be concerned about their friends who are admittedly addicted to zombie series. Perhaps viewers are more interested in the tribal team experience shared by a multicultural cast than they are interested in the horror. No doubt, people prefer to experience the victory of the good guys who strive to save their friends and family.

Adult viewers experience a metaphorical movie-world that replicates global uncertainty. Countless zombies that approach actors in movies often symbolize individual problems to be resolved through strategic planning, depending on the situation at hand. Given that a real world of zombies would be impossible, viewers remain cognizant that a film journeys into the powers of imagination that never meet real life.

One common thread shared by all of these zombie movies is the cast of fictional protagonists who form their own teams with friends and others they meet along the way in order to survive. The cast gets linked together through encounters with scores of mindless zombies. At times, individual characters discover that they have to reluctantly befriend their former enemies in order to survive together.

The family theme is often represented in zombie series like “Fear of the Walking Dead” (2015), directed by Schwartz, Bernstein, et al. In this American series set in California and Mexico, two families work together to survive an apocalypse. What it means to be a family is an important theme in this unique twist on the zombie theme.

Multicultural teams throughout zombie films must welcome new team members of diverse origins since they all share the same goals. It is only by being a real team that supports diverse members that a group can prevail. Fortunately, these protagonists find that they share common threads, that they would never have imagined before they encountered their challenges. Being a multi-ethnic team that works together regardless of differences is an honorable and ethical plight depicted time and time again by Hollywood in movies of all genres.

The protagonists of zombie movies generally try to do good toward their fellow humans. They fight to save their friends, family, and any human they encounter along their journeys, even if they find needy people along the highway. Courageous heroes and heroines even give their lives to help their fellow humans. On the other hand, when someone becomes inflicted with the zombie-virus, the protagonists are forced to do what they must to relieve the victim. No matter how bad the situation gets, these protagonists never give up. More importantly, the protagonists of zombie movies realize how precious life is, that each and every day could be their last day as a character in the film. The main characters discover that it is their duty to appreciate life, as it was even before the tragic appearance of the living dead who multiply all around their fictive barricades. At times, a character leaves the series merely because he or she becomes ready to move on to another series or movie (perhaps, a better opportunity) in another film.

Scary books and movies have been popular since the time Edgar Allan Poe wrote his psychological thrillers in eloquent rhythm. Zombies are reminiscent of the macabre “Masque of the Red Death” (1842), by Edgar Allan Poe. In Poe’s short story, a devastating epidemic, much like the zombie pestilence, was depopulating a country. The transformation of the inflicted people in this classic tale by Poe was undoubtedly the forerunner of the zombie movies; yet, the victims in the newer movies received more compassion from the surviving humans than did the victims in Poe’s story. Poe’s classic story reminds readers of the various plagues that struck Europe during the 1200s, the 1300s, and the 1600s. The one who wore such a “masque” embodied the mysteries of eternity in the eyes of those who saw their luxurious party come to an end. The community members at the party remained selfish in “The Masque of the Red Death” while, in modern zombie movies, the stars of the zombie films usually rise to the occasion to selflessly fight for their families and/or teams.

Stories like “Fear of the Walking Dead” make it clear that people can team up and work together to achieve a common cause regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of their age or their ethnicity. Madison Clark, a widow and mother of two children, the main character in “Fear of the Walking Dead”, tries to keep her family together while also assisting those who enter into their circle while an apocalypse unfolds around them. Her son Nick, formerly a heroin addict, rises to the occasion to help his family and others who band together. In addition, Madison’s daughter Alicia discovers her true powers throughout the long apocalyptic ordeal. Together, they experience a journey of growth. Moreover, they find powers within that they had neither imagined nor explored when life was simple (prior to the evolution from short horror stories by Poe to that of the modern apocalyptic zombie series). No matter how one feels about zombie movies and horror literature, it is important to realize that these forms of expression were never meant to imitate reality: Perhaps, they were created in order to get viewers to ask more questions about the world around them.

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