Zombies. You can’t turn the corner at the moment without some zombie-themed entertainment catching you eye. Personally, I love the genre. The idea of a virus or plague that can be explained with full scientific backing is always going to lure me more than a glittery vampire. But times have changed for zombies, and whilst the attack of these creatures traditionally came as a slow but never-ending onslaught, many modern zombies are not only undead, but have the speed of a marathon runner. There’s been huge criticism over some of the latest entertainment because of this, with World War Z being the latest film to receive the wrath of the critics. However, whilst some modern TV and film, such as The Walking Dead, has managed to maintain the slow moving horrors, others have kicked it up a gear.
I have to say, I’m a proponent of running zombies. Entertainment has moved on, and if Psycho was giving modern ratings, it’d probably be given a rating far lower than R or 18, depending which country you’re in. The thrill of a zombie that can catch you, that can outpace your speed and pull you to the ground to tear out your throat, is far scarier than a lumbering hoard that you can get away from at a small jog. 28 Days Later has an epic scene where a taxi becomes caught in the tunnel and the shadows of running zombies appear in the distance, gaining at horrendous speed. World War Z is all the more thrilling because, at any point, the millions of undead could turn like a sea from hell and begin running towards the protagonists. And, in my own zombie novella, the fact that zombies are able to run makes the escape scenes all the more dramatic.
On the subject of World War Z; if you like zombies and aren’t tied to traditional thinking, then I highly recommend it. I wasn’t expecting a lot if I’m honest, and though I loved the trailer, was fully readying myself to be disappointed. However, I came out of the viewing thrilled, impressed with Brad Pitt’s acting, inspired by the writing and believability of the storyline and ready – if the rumours are true – to see the sequel.
So, what’s the point of this post? One – go and see World War Z; it’s actually rather good. Two – whilst the traditional lumbering zombies are never likely to be phased out, embracing their running cousins can result in a welcome adrenalin ride. What’s your choice? The thrill of the chase, or the traditional slow but unwavering approach of the undead hoard?