Whether it’s for the thrills or the chills, sometimes throwing on a classic horror movie or a suspenseful thrillercan be what you need after a long day. Zombie movies can be a fun and sometimes hilarious way to blow off steam. Throughout pop culture and films since the early 1960s, zombies have been present. Horror is a good genre for young, aspiring filmmakers, but zombie horror flicks have been known to bring low-budget films great returns and great recognition as resourceful and creative. This is, of course, not always the case as zombie movies have been jacked up and popularized by the many cult fans that imagine how they might survive the zombie apocalypse, were it ever to happen.
Whatever kind of zombie is your favorite, all types are represented in our list today: fast zombies, angry zombies, dumb zombies, subaquatic zombies, you name it, we got it. So board up your windows and doors, get your best Louisville Slugger handy, and strap in for the best zombie movies ranked.
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GenreHorror, Science Fiction, Thriller
StarsRobin Ward, Bryan Renfro, Simon Baker
Directed byGeorge A. Romero
To start off our list from what is nowhere near George A. Romero’s finest, Land of the Dead has some of the most ridiculous lines as well as zombie tendencies of all zombie films — ever. Not to discredit the bombastic fun of the movie, it’s still one of the necessities in the Romero zombie movie collection but takes it a bit too far. It’s not really a spoiler — since it’s in the trailer — to mention that these zombies get way smarter, utilizing their newfound abilities to wield guns, drive cars, and march along the ocean floor.
StarsLupita Nyong'o, Alexander England, Josh Gad
Directed byAbe Forsythe
A rare perspective in the zombie movie universe, Little Monsters follows a group of children on a field trip with their resilient school teacher who goes to incredible lengths to preserve their innocence. Since the camp they go to is right next door to a military testing site, they are the first to be subject to the outbreak. While these zombies are pretty mindless (children are able to fairly easily evade them), the concepts and themes present are quite endearing, encouraging the power of the human spirit to endure no matter the odds.
GenreHorror, Action, Science Fiction
StarsMilla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius
Directed byPaul W. S. Anderson
An all-out action fest and the beginning of a film franchise that would continue for what seems like forever, Resident Evil is a zombie movie that turns humans and animals into all sorts of undead creatures. While it’s a fun and explosive adventure all the way through, Milla Jovovich is the guiding light who keeps these films alive with her incredible badassery. Yes, there are many zombies in this movie series, but a lot of the time they completely change their shape/size/bone structure to more accurately follow the video game series on which they are based.
StarsWoody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone
Directed byRuben Fleischer
Adding utter gore with comedy sometimes has some great outcomes, this is one of those times. In Zombieland, not only do we get all the zombie action we are looking for, but we also get a fun cast of characters that make the zombie apocalypse almost look kinda fun and survivable. Counting down his list of rules to stay alive, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is a neurotic and logical example of someone who uses smarts to stay alive, while Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is a skilled and excited zombie killer who does it for sport.
StarsSarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber
Directed byZack Snyder
In Zack Snyder’s modern-day reboot of the 1978 classic, Dawn of the Dead makes its zombies faster, stronger, and scarier than ever. Based in the same setting as the original, a group of survivors holes up in a shopping mall surrounded by a ridiculously large horde of the undead. While it doesn’t quite match up to the quality of the original, it stays true to it while exploring new fields of interest.
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StarsSimon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield
Directed byEdgar Wright
The first-ever zom-rom-com to hit was the incredible Edgar Wright feature Shaun of the Dead, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to make the dialogue and narrative a dryly hilarious adventure. Inspired to save his girlfriend when the zombie apocalypse hits (even though she just broke up with him), Shaun (Simon Pegg) ultimately just wants to get to his favorite pub and wait for the whole thing to blow over. While the zombies in this movie are painfully slow and dim, it adds to the humor of the film, especially when they are able to navigate a crowd of them simply by acting like a zombie.
GenreAction, Horror, Thriller
StarsGong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok
Directed byYeon Sang-ho
One of the most intense and claustrophobic zombie movies ever made, Train to Busan is an incredible Korean zombie movie by director Sang-ho Yeon. Riddled with well-established backstories to multiple characters and great performances to boot, they all must survive on a train to the supposed last safe zone from the zombie outbreak. The zombies are fast, they are vicious, and the virus turns them pretty quickly. The creativity and originality of the plot is enough to give it a watch, but it turns out so much better than it sounds.
GenreHorror, Thriller, Science Fiction
StarsCillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson
Directed byDanny Boyle
From director Danny Boyle comes 28 Days Later, the fast-paced and terrifying zombie thriller that revamped the genre into the next generation. An animal rights activist group decides to break into a research facility and free some monkeys, one of which is carrying a “rage virus” that spreads like wildfire throughout the U.K. The zombies are fast, fierce, and make some terrifying sounds to boot. The scariest part about this movie’s virus is that it is the most realistic concept for a zombie apocalypse yet, in which the host of the virus can still starve to death but is driven by the virus to do one thing: spread.
StarsDavid Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger
Directed byGeorge A. Romero
Considered to be the modern awakening of the zombie movie, George A. Romero is at it with Dawn of the Dead — the original and better version. Including some very interesting commentary on society and what we have become, the zombies are slow-moving and less threatening but serve more as a symbolic tool for Romero. Hailed for its practical effects and riveting story, this is easily one of the best zombie movies of all time. It should be noted that, due to licensing issues, this movie cannot be streamed online anywhere. So we’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way.
1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
CastDuane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman
In what is considered to be the first and best zombie movie of all time, George A. Romero helms this revered horror classic. Praised for its editing, practical effects, and — of course — a smart political commentary, Night of the Living Dead is the debut film from Romero that was exceptional in so many ways. It was even praised for being the first horror film to feature a Black lead character played by Duane Jones, which adds to the incredible and revolutionary — societal and theatrical — steps that Romero has taken well before many others.
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The 12 best thriller movies that stand the test of time
Thriller movies to watch: 12 must-see flicks
What makes a great thriller? It can be hard to put your finger on an answer, in part because the definition of a thriller is always changing. Some thrillers are also great action movies, while others could be defined as great horror movies, or at least horror adjacent. Thrillers exist in a nebulous zone in the middle; they're often fun to watch, but not the same joyride many action movies are, and they're also unsettling without being outright terrifying. The best thrillers are actively helping to define the genre, and that's what makes them so special.
What unites thrillers, though, is that great ones are riveting from their opening moments. They often tell stories of seedy underworlds or criminal enterprises, and they're often unafraid of being racy when they need to be. A great thriller should entertain you, but it should also leave you asking questions when you exit the theater. The thrillers we've assembled for this list all fit that bill to a tee, and have also stood the test of time as greats of the genre. These are the best thriller movies to watch, and helpful streaming information to make sure you can check them out.
Ranked: The best Jack Nicholson movies ever made
From 'As Good as It Gets' to 'Five Easy Pieces,' these are the best Jack Nicholson movies ever made, ranked
Few actors in Hollywood's long history have had more legendary careers than Jack Nicholson. Ever since he first emerged as part of a new generation of acting talent in the late 1960s, Nicholson has proved that he's one of the greatest acting talents of his — or any other — generation, alongside the likes of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. With a totally distinct look and an energy that is both terrifying and infectious, Nicholson has taken on a wide array of roles that span multiple genres.
Nicholson continued to deliver great performances decade after decade for nearly 40 years before unofficially retiring in the 2010s (he says he wouldn't call it retirement, but he hasn't been in a movie in about a decade now), and this list chronicles some of his very best work. Some of these movies are great thrillerswhile others might be more neatly defined as comedies, but all of them are great. So while it's hard to narrow down his storied career in a list like this, we've nonetheless decided to rank the 10 best Jack Nicholson movies.
The 13 best Stephen King books to read in 2023, ranked
Need a horror story for the rest of winter? Here are 13 of the best from acclaimed author Stephen King.
We live among walking legends, from LeBron James and Steven Spielberg to Paul McCartney and Meryl Streep. In the category of writing, Stephen King is among the very best. The 75-year-old from Maine has written countless classics, with a signature ability to both instill fear and keep readers helplessly attached to the plot.
Dubbed the "king of horror," King is a living icon, still turning out quality material. Some of the scariest concepts that continue to creep you out — the clowns, the twins in the hallway, the buried pets — are the handy work of King. It's no wonder many consider him to be one of the greatest writers of all time.