Nerd Talk: Zombie movies are good for more than just scares

Megan Roth’s weekly column exploring pop culture and all things nerdy

I know what the calendar may say, autumn doesn’t begin until Sept. 22. However, to me it is already here.

I want nothing more right now then to curl up with hot chocolate or chai tea and that stack of books I told myself I would read over the summer.

I love fall, the crisp air and the beautiful colours of the trees as they prepare for winter.

Other than attempting to read through the stack of to-be-read books, I love watching horror movies this time of the year. Which is weird, because normally I hate horror movies.

I won’t even go near the movie “It” which was just released in theatres, but that is a completely different topic.

I blame the need to watch horror movies on Halloween. As soon as September hits I’m all about gearing up for the spookiest time of the year.

Though I love the movie “Scream”, and actually the Netflix series based off the movie, the past few years I have been all about zombie movies, and shows.

I haven’t seen the CW T.V. show “IZombie” yet, but it is on my list, though I think it is not quite the spectacle of “The Walking Dead”.

Because of my recent love of zombie movies, I’ve been thinking, what is it I love about them?

It is the gore? The absurdity of it? The scare I get when something pops out on the screen?

Honestly, I don’t think that is it.

A good scare is great, but I found zombie movies are less of a horror-thriller than most would expect.

Really, the zombie genre is more about survival, adjacent not only the undead, but also other humans.

The thrill of these movies and shows is watching groups of people work together and survive despite absolutely everything being against them.

When watching a zombie movie, the audience is taken on a journey of a group of survivors trying to make their way in a world that is not longer theirs.

Eventually the story moves from humans versus zombies, to humans versus survival, and sometimes humans versus humans.

Cities collapse in these worlds, and governments no longer exist. What is really thrilling is watching the people ban together against the threat and over come it.

It “28 Day Later”, which some argue isn’t a zombie movie but we’ll use it anyway, the humans are able to find the zombie’s weakness and exploit it. Not only that but new civilizations begin to crop up, one is in London, as seen in the movie’s sequel.

In the 2005 movie “Land of the Dead”, zombies have taken over, but humans have worked together to not only survive but they have created a city and a government.

Even “Zombieland”, a rather satirical look at the genre, displays the same struggle to survive. It isn’t a huge as creating a new city and government, sure. What the movie does show is four people coming together to live and survive, and find Twinkies.

My personal favourite “Shaun of the Dead” starring Simon Peg and Nick Frost shows a small group trying to find a place where they feel safe and “wait for the whole thing to blow over.” In this movie you get to watch the interpersonal dynamic of the group, as characters die or are afraid and run away.

I think, zombie movies, more than any other movie, actually shows human nature. The drive to survive and find a group for safety.

These movies show that people can survive even in the worst, most impossible conditions.

Maybe zombies aren’t just for the fall season, maybe they are for any time of the year. Because they are more than blood, gore and scares.

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