I have a bit of a confession to make. I am the biggest monster apocalypse fangirl. Any film that comes out that involves zombies, end of days and panic stricken extras running around screaming in the background, I’m there with the popcorn.
I thought I’d share my favourite ones below and why (warning, the following gifs are not meant for those who don’t enjoy gore):
This is probably one of the smartest monster apocalypse movies I’ve watched for a while. Set in a small town radio station office, the film’s events unfold through the radio DJ’s interactions with people who call in to the station and tell him what’s happening. Eventually the infected reach the station and those inside have to fight for their lives. The movie is clever because it plays upon your fear of the unknown and also the incomprehensible, through the infection’s method of spreading. Definitely worth a watch, if you like a film that makes you think.
My boyfriend and I were browsing Netflix one Saturday evening, looking for a horror film to pass the time with while we drank a bottle of wine and snacked on something unhealthy. We’d looked at Stake Land before but had never decided to watch it, simply because we’d never heard of it and Netflix didn’t give it a whole lot of stars (it needs to).
I’m so glad we decided to put it on though, set in a post apocalyptic America (of course, where else do you base these things?) the plot follows the story of Martin who is rescued by the formidable monster hunter Mister, after Martin’s family are killed. This film is essentially a road trip of misery and is not afraid to kill of babies and (SPOILER) pregnant women in horrible ways. It’s very gritty, very gory and you just can’t stop watching.
Probably one of my favourite films of all time (along with The Little Mermaid) the first time I watched Planet Terror I wanted to go out and tell everyone else to watch it too. I mean, it’s a film that opens with a pole dancing scene featuring Rose McGowan, you can’t ask for much more than that. Here’s a sneak preview if you haven’t seen it:
Usually when you mention Planet Terror, to people those who have heard of it, they’ll say ‘isn’t that the one with the girl with the machine gun for a leg?’ and yes, yes it is. It’s a Robert Rodriguez film so expect lots of violence, gore and plenty of absolutely insane characters such as the guy who keeps his enemies balls in a jar.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
I’ll be honest about the reason why this film made the list. Jill Valentine. Plus it’s the best movie in the Resident Evil film franchise in my opinion, because it plays out as a good old fashioned, zombie apocalypse plot with hoardes of undead, gory death scenes and lots of impending doom.
World War Z
Max Brooks’s novel is in my top ten favourite books of all time list, below Harry Potter and Let the Right One In of course. It’s the perfect fictional memoir compilation and Brooks really did his homework (or so it seems) when it comes to military and political jargon. I remember reading the book for the first time and thinking wow, this reads so well it’s almost as if these events could have actually happened, as I peered outside just to check all was well.
When I went to the cinema to watch the film I was expecting a documentary style, gritty flashback filled film that had picked out some of the best stories from the book to detail (the story of Kondo, who was so immersed in the world of hacking and cyberspace and didn’t even realise the zombie apocalypse had happened until the Internet went down was my favourite). But the film followed a story that wasn’t in the books, showing Brad Pitt running around getting everyone killed (well his wife helps with her relentless phone calls) and ending up in Wales of all places.
The zombies weren’t the slow moving, groaning hoardes that Brooks talks about in the book but an even more horrifying breed of fast moving, all consuming force that threatens humanity. However, despite it’s disappointing ties to the novel (which consists of sharing the same name and mentioning a couple of characters) it is a film I’ve watched numerous times now and enjoy more with each viewing – mainly for the teeth chattering zombie in the CDC.
28 Weeks Later
People might argue with me for putting 28 Weeks on here instead of 28 Days. The first movie was a great example of British film making that we rarely get to see when it comes to this genre, usually we’re on the streets of New York when the big biting fest goes down but 28 Days took us to our familiar city of London, barren and empty following the aftermath of the rage virus.
However, 28 Weeks is on here because it offers a look at a side to the apocalypse film we don’t see. The rebuild that follows (and the inevitable shit storm if you don’t do things right). Plus it’s got Hawkeye in it. What more could you ask for?
Honourable mentions of course also go to Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. Both brilliant dark comedy films that should be on the list.
My Dad regularly pokes fun at me for enjoying zombie/monster apocalypse films and series so much (The Walking Dead is also something I enjoy watching very much) but I prefer horror that makes you wonder – what if this could really happen? What would I do in this situation?
Zombies are probably the best monster because they play on so many of our fears, such as a pandemic (just look how crazed we all get when we’re told there’s a new disease spreading), the fear of being eaten alive and the fear of our loved ones turning on us – because it’s inevitable in a zombie apocalypse someone you love is going to turn and you’ll have the dirty job of bashing them in the head. Obviously.
What are your favourite monster apocalypse movies? Are there any that should have definitely made the list?