Despite being wary of an incumbent apocalypse, complete with zombies and everything, it won’t be a 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 are no longer remain ignored. Good apocalypse films, especially involving zombies, are always a good 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 humour, 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.
15. 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 as 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 realises that the entire city and streets have been infested with rotters. She has been stationed at a refugee camp which 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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14. Gallowwalkers (2012)
A weirdly funny movie comprising of the undead people, wherever you want to see, ‘Gallowwalkers’ is the narrative of Aman, a man who is on a killing spree and is a gunslinger who, after killing a group of people, is ripping off their body parts. Turns out, Aman is an undead. Typically, the movie shows its undead people (a.k.a. zombies) in a weird fashion – they shed their skin and have to be killed by ripping their brains apart. To fulfil their requirement of having some skin, the undead kills other people and peel their skin off. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a backstory to Aman – he was killed by the people who raped his lover. His relatives went to God and got him reincarnated, but with one limitation – he’s reborn with a curse of being undead and whoever he kills, they become the undead. Called “outrageously goofy” and “incoherent”, ‘Gallowwalkers’ has to be one of the worst zombie movies of all time.
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13. Rise of the Zombie (2013)
Apart from the grammatical irregularity in its title, ‘Rise of the Zombie’ does raise some important points – that Bollywood movies can be made around zombies and while they may not be so immensely successful as their Hollywood counterparts, they could just fill the void of being called as a zombie flick. ‘Rise of the Zombie’ begins with Neil Parker who’s hanging out with his girlfriend Vinny. A fight ensues between them and Neil takes off to the woods, with a camera (given his penchant for wildlife photography) and starts taking random photos while looking and sounding delusional and trying to call his girlfriend who never receives his call. He gets a wound on his arm, which starts festering and soon, as the moonlight turns on, he starts eating random stuff – insects, worms, leaves and soon, starts biting humans. Vinny is the only hope he could look forward to, but she’s too busy elsewhere not to receive his call. ‘Rise of the Zombie’ was the first of a purported trilogy of movies which never came to the fore. Regardless, however vague or illogical it might have been, it still makes for a palatable watch than compared to the previous two.
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12. KL Zombi (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 humour is mostly crass and derived from an overdone script, poor direction and lacklustre acting. Still, ‘KL Zombi’ is one of those rare Malaysian flicks which glorify zombies in a unique, entertaining way.
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11. Doom (2005)
Coming to one of the most popular games of our childhood days, which eventually went on to become a movie, thus killing all the fun and good memories associated with the beloved game, ‘Doom’ boasts of a star cast that includes Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Dwayne Johnson, et al to begin with. ‘Doom’ tells the story of a race of humanoid, vicious beings on Mars which have infested one of the research labs and is causing a menace. A group of Marines are all set to go on a Search and Rescue mission and to eliminate the so-called beings from Mars. Apparently, in the year 2026, a portal has opened up on Earth which directly leads to Mars and everyone has been using the portal to go to Mars. The gore and the horror that follows is somewhat satisfying and is reminiscent of the game we loved. ‘Doom’ still feels a lot like we’re playing a game, i.e. there is no concrete storyline or a premise or even character depth. Still, the action sequences are worthwhile in this gory flick which replaces zombies with ancient, advanced and vicious beings.
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10. The Rezort (2015)
Following a near-apocalyptic zombie outbreak, humans are once again in control. The ReZort, a safari park, offers its guests the opportunity to kill as many zombies in a controlled environment. With an unusual and original plot, “The Rezort” is a low budget movie with incredible makeup effects and camera work. Character development happens while the action takes place so you certainly won’t feel bored during the whole film. The film brings freshness to the genre despite some performances that leave us wanting more serious and professional.
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9. Ladronas de Almas (2015)
By the way, the translation for the movie title is ‘Soul Robbers’, if you were wondering. ‘Ladronas de Almas’ is set during the Mexican Independence War in the early 1800s. In a remotely located estate, a group of insurgents are seeking a home invasion, which apparently is inhabited by a wheelchair-ridden old man, his three daughters and a servant. The marauders soon come to know the truth about the inhabitants – the women are not only skilled fighters, but they’re also zombies which explains why a servant from Haiti resides along with the family. The movie opened up to positive reviews and was praised for its cliffhanger in the end and the vague possibility of landing with a sequel.
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8. Here Alone (2016)
After an outbreak that turned the people into zombies, Ann, her husband Jason and their baby daughter flee to woods. Ann learns to survive in the wilderness but she loses her family. One day, Ann helps teenager Olivia and her stepfather Chris, who is seriously wounded, to survive. And things get complicated moving forward. With an interesting story, realistic action and believable characters, “Here Alone” is definitely worth a watch. The score and sound effects are on point and the actors are really good. In sum, it is a good slow burner apocalyptic/horror film despite some flaws in the script.
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7. Life After Beth (2014)
Featuring Aubrey Plaza in a leading role, ‘Life After Beth’ is riled with surprising humour and pun, and turns out to be a witty zombie comedy with its own “cherishable” moments. ‘Life After Beth’ begins with Beth Slocum, who is the girlfriend of Zach and apparently, they’re in deep love for each other. Beth dies soon after and Zach is in a state of trauma. After Beth’s funeral, as Zach is still recovering from the shock, he continues to visit Beth’s parents. One fine day, he notices that her parents have been hiding Beth from him and that Beth is alive. Upon visiting the grave, he doesn’t find Beth’s body there and when he asks Beth’s parents, he’s told that she Beth has appeared out of nowhere, but she refuses to leave the house in the daytime, for it causes her blisters and she’s becoming more bloodthirsty day by day. As the movie progresses, Beth’s health deteriorates further and by the end of the movie, she turns into the zombie as we know them. ‘Life After Beth’ was praised for Plaza’s performance, however, the story was too much of the same and doesn’t bear any major out-of-the-league differences from any other zombie movie.
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6. Ravenous (2017)
A widely appreciated film based out on a post-apocalyptic setup, ‘Ravenous’ begins with two survivors – Bonin and Vezina who are wandering off in countryside Quebec, Canada, killing the infected people and having fun all the while. Although they don’t look distressed due to the apocalypse that is looming on to them, they still are looking for survivors and taking the ones they can to a safer place. Bonin picks up a girl named Tania and a little girl named Zoe while another woman named Celine meets Therese and Pauline who is known to Bonin. The group reunites and moves from one place to another, escaping the infected people as long as they could. Alas, the outbreak affects them too and Bonin and Tania are the only two left as the movie concludes. Cinematically triumphant and given its survival spirit, ‘Ravenous’ is worth every second of your time. Go watch it, now!
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5. Mojin: The Lost Legend (2015)
Although the film could not boast of the presence of a lot of zombies, for its premise is something else altogether, zombies do appear in some frantic confrontations regardless. ‘Mojin: The Lost Legend’ tells the story of a tomb explorers cum raiders Hu Bayi, and Wang Kaixuan, who has supposedly retired from their professions. Wang gets another mouth-watering assignment wherein he’s asked to locate the tomb of a Mongolian princess by Ying – a cult leader and a cunning businessman and their journeys to the plains of Mongolia are as exciting and delusional as the princess once was. In an apparent dig towards immortality, the Mongolian Princess had a fetish for a flower named Equinox which would bring the dead back to life. ‘Mojin: The Lost Legend’ was praised for the performances, CGI and to some extent – the storyline. However, the film was panned for being slow and riddled with too many sub-plots. On a personal note, the film appears to be no different than the western version of Tomb Raider.
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4. 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!
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3. 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 setup 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 realises 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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2. 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 travellers 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, 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 of the Thai film industry.
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1. Train to Busan (2016)
Sok-woo and his daughter, Soo-Ahn, are boarding the KTX, a fast train that will bring them from Seoul to Busan. But during this trip, the apocalypse begins, and most of the earth’s population become zombies. Most of the movie takes place inside the train, which can be a little claustrophobic and difficult to film. However, Sang-ho Yeon’s talent and experience make this an enjoyable experience with the help of fantastic visual effects. This Korean film is not the only action packed but has a good dose of melodrama. The father-daughter relationship is moving and the script intriguing. Many zombie films lack realness but “Train to Busan” is not one of those.
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