Zombie movies never seem to die! To be taken seriously, these dystopian nightmares require a viral outbreak and can never utter the z-word. And then there are movies like these, which you can stream on Netflix and Showmax whenever the urge for offbeat horror takes hold.
1 The Girl with All the Gifts (Netflix)
When a fungal virus infects the masses, scientists concentrate their efforts to find a cure, testing a strain of dead-alive children. Based on a novel, The Girl with All the Gifts takes a unique perspective, introducing a new breed of halflings with enough flair to keep it fresh and exciting.
Starring Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close and newcomer Sennia Nanua, this British female-led zombie sci-fi horror thriller is understated and sleek. The performances are grounded, the zombie action is realistic, there’s a strain of sardonic humour and unlike many straight zombie horrors … it doesn’t just feed on brains but engages them too.
“The best zombie-ish apocalypse in years. Sennia Nanua is a major discovery, but it’s the dense social commentary and moral dilemmas that will haunt you.” – Helen O’Hara, Empire
Relying on old-school special effects and make up, the filmmakers use visual effects sparingly to immerse us in this nightmarish vision of the future. Similar to 28 Days Later, The Girl with All the Gifts outperforms itself, leveraging its star power and playing like an sprawling epic.
IMDB rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 86%
2 Warm Bodies (Showmax)
It’s hard to believe Nicholas Caradoc Hoult was the boy in About a Boy! Especially since he’s now one of Hollywood’s most prolific young actors with starring roles in Rebel in the Rye, Tolkien and opposite Teresa Palmer in zombie “romcom” Warm Bodies.
Based on Isaac Marion’s novel, Warm Bodies is the perfect date-night movie, serving up cute and funny romantic comedy with a generous dollop of suspenseful horror. Stirring butterflies and dopamine levels, it’s an exhilarating and fresh take, blending classic Shakespeare with bloodthirsty zombies.
Post-apocalyptic relationships are already complicated, but this zombie romcom adds another dimension as Romeo (sorry, “R”) remains in a critical state after saving Juliet (sorry, “Julie”) from a zombie attack. Starting with sweet nothings… okay fine, grunts, the two form a relationship with the power to save the world. Who are we to judge when films like The Shape of Water win Best Picture? Besides, he’s not quite undead … yet! Just watch it.
IMDB rating: 6.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 81%
3 Zombieland (Netflix)
Woody Harrelson’s famous face makes him stick out, gravitating towards playing larger-than-life characters. In Zombieland he’s a blend of Burt Gummer and Crocodile Dundee as Tallahassee, except instead of blowing up massive sandworms or fishing with dynamite, he’s taking down zombies across post-apocalyptic America.
Sharing the blood-spattered screen with Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Little Miss Sunshine herself, the survivors find themselves on a compulsory road trip. Trying to find sanctuary, the makeshift family rely on their wits, developing a list of rules for getting by in a zombie-eat-human world.
This “zomedy” is in the same coagulated vein as Shaun of the Dead, extending the playground to a cross-country adventure. Fighting for the last Twinkie in the West and visiting one of the remaining Ghostbusters, this zomedy has Bill Murray cult appeal and makes for a rip-roaring roller-coaster ride.
IMDB rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90%