6 Most Realistic Zombie Movies of All Time

Zombie movies have been a feature on screen for decades. Their presence in the horror genre has been continuously re-imagined since the beginning of the genre. Indeed, zombies have become a huge part of popular culture, being a staple Halloween image up there with ghosts and vampires. The idea of ​​a blood-hungry and brain-dead creature whose only aim is to consume flesh has been terrifying moviegoers for years.

As horror films have evolved, so have zombie movies. In fact, the zombie comedy movies have taken the 21st Century by storm, offering a harmonious blend of horror and humor in movies like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. More than that, with the advance of special effects, technology, and narrative techniques, zombie movies have become more and more realistic. Movies like I Am Legend and Train to Busan have approached the zombie subgenre with careful consideration of the science and social consequences of zombie outbreaks, making it easy for us to imagine ourselves in an apocalyptics, zombie-infested world. Here’s a look at the six of the most realistic zombie movies of all time.

Related: Explained: Why and How Zombie Movies Become So Popular

6 I Am Legend

Warner Bros. Pictures

I Am Legend was released in 2007 and features Will Smith in the leading role of Robert Neville, who is a scientist and survivor of a human-made plague that has transformed humans into bloodthirsty mutants who hunt at night. The film is extreme in its nature, but the isolation felt by Will Smith’s character allows the audience to sympathize and envision how difficult it would be to stay motivated to live in an apocalyptic world where the odds are against you.

5 World War Z

world war z

Max Brooks novel was brought to life in 2013 with World War Z, which stars Brad Pitt in a leading role as he tries to find a cure amongst the chaos caused by an infectious virus. The film is fast-paced, and the zombies are much more brutal than usual, able to sprint at abnormally fast paces and are relentless in catching their prey. The film feels different to others in the genre as it treats the subject matter maturely, bringing in the United Nations and how they would deal with the issue, which gives you more context as to how it would possibly play out if this were to happen in real life.

4 Shaun Of The Dead


Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead has become one of the most iconic zombie films in the genre and has endured as a cult classic years after its release. The film focuses on Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) both of whom find themselves having to conduct a survival operation after the UK is infected by a virus that turns the infected into zombies. The film differentiates from others in the genre due to its comical nature and the terrible decisions made by the main characters. It’s one of the few zombie movies that presents real people and reactions we could see ourselves in, rather than the typical over-the-top action movies where characters are borderline superheroes.

3 Train to Busan

Train to Busan, Next Entertainment World
Next Entertainment World

The Korean horror Train to Busan was released in 2016 and combines the classic zombie horror story with a human element, as the characters are caught in dangerous situations that we could easily imagine ourselves experiencing if such chaos was to ensue. The plot focuses on a divorced businessman (Yoo Gong) who is taking his daughter (Su-an Kim) on a train journey from Seoul to Busan to visit her mother when a woman who is infected by a virus boards the train. The infection soon spreads, and the passengers find themselves trapped and having to fight for their survival. The action is relentless and the audience can not help but imagine themselves in the difficult situation.

Related: Train to Busan Remake Title Revealed, Where Are the Zombies Going This Time?

2 [REC]


[REC] was directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza and was released in 2007. The film uses the found footage method to create an authentic feel to the horror which ensures. The Spanish thriller uses found footage and follows a young television presenter (played by Manuela velasco) and her camera man (played by Pablo Rosso) who become trapped inside an apartment complex that is experiencing an outbreak of mysterious virus, which turns those who are infected into blood thirsty hunters who hunt the uninfected with no mercy. The contained nature of the apartment complex makes the audience feel claustrophobic, and the found-footage element makes the viewer feel as if they are included in the experience.

1 28 Days later

28 days later

Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later feels like the most realistic zombie movie even years after its release in 2002. The plot focuses on Jim (Cillian Murphy), who wakes up from a coma weeks after the UK has been terrorized by a virus which causes the infected host to turn into a zombie. London is now a ghost town, and we see characters being plunged into chaos and bear witness to the drastic lengths they have to go to in order to ensure their survival. The societal collapse feels very real, and the cast are excellent at portraying the realism of the situation.

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