60 best zombie movies of all time

Written by:
October 27, 2020
La Zanfoña Producciones

60 best zombie movies of all time

Ever wonder why we are fascinated with zombie movies, where crowds of flesh-eating corpses come back to haunt the living? According to Stanford literary scholar Angela Becerra Vidergar, the idea that we as people can survive seemingly bleak situations against all odds is an appealing one.

“Even if as a society we have lost a lot of our belief in a positive future and instead have more of an idea of a disaster to come, we still think that we are survivors, we still want to believe that we would survive,” she says.

Of course, cultural fascination with the undead has existed long before “The Walking Dead” terrified audiences every Sunday. The first feature-length zombie film, “White Zombie,” was released back in 1932. While it popularized the idea of Haitian voodoo zombies, it was George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” franchise (which began in 1968) that truly popularized the modern concept of the flesh-eating undead.

More recently, movies like “Train to Busan” and “ParaNorman” have adapted the concept for a 21st-century audience, adding contemporary action sequences and cutting-edge animation to the mix. Many more zombie films, while maligned for their gory content, have gone on to become cult classics appreciated in the years after their release.

Stacker compiled horror film data from the horror-centric website They Shoot Zombies, Don’t They?, which has weighed and aggregated rankings from over 2,900 editorial lists to create the most definitive ranking of horror movies. Going from there, Stacker ranked the top 60 zombie movies on the list as of May 2020. Nearly 7,900 films were considered in total, with IMDb user ratings and Metascores from Metacritic presented here for critical and popular context.

Here are the best zombie movies of all time, starting at #60 and counting down to #1.

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1 / 60
Albright Films Inc.

#60. The Children (1980)

- Director: Max Kalmanowicz
- IMDb user rating: 6.0
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 93 minutes
- Country: Canada

As “The Children” begins, a busload of school children drives into a cloud of nuclear waste and turns them into zombies. It’s up to the town’s adults to stop them, in a plot that pays obvious homage to George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead.”

2 / 60
Grand National Pictures

#59. Sole Survivor (1984)

- Director: Thom Eberhardt
- IMDb user rating: 6.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 85 minutes
- Country: US

“Sole Survivor” follows Denise (Anita Skinner), who is wracked with guilt after becoming the only survivor of a massive plane crash. She’s soon haunted by zombie-like people, but even as people around her begin dying, no one believes her story.

3 / 60
Dialchi Film

#58. Nightmare City (1980)

- Director: Umberto Lenzi
- IMDb user rating: 5.7
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 92 minutes
- Country: Italy

In “Nightmare City,” a television reporter comes across an Italian city that has become overrun by blood-thirsty zombies because an airplane exposed to radiation landed there. Because of the nature of how the zombie epidemic started, the film contains clear anti-nuclear warfare themes.

4 / 60
Dragon Pictures

#57. Wild Zero (1999)

- Director: Tetsuro Takeuchi
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 98 minutes
- Country: Japan

This Japanese horror comedy stars Masashi Endō, a young man who is thrilled when he meets his favorite band. However, his loyalty is tested when he finds himself in the midst of a zombie outbreak with them. “Wild Zero” features members of Thailand’s military and their families as members of the undead.

5 / 60
Belladonna Productions

#56. Mulberry Street (2006)

- Director: Jim Mickle
- IMDb user rating: 5.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 84 minutes
- Country: US

In “Mulberry Street,” a deadly Manhattan virus begins turning people into homicidal rat creatures. As the outbreak occurs, six evicted tenants must band together to survive the night and protect their building from the creatures. Mickle has said that the film is meant to emphasize themes of gentrification.

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6 / 60
Rush Productions

#55. The Grapes of Death (1978)

- Director: Jean Rollin
- IMDb user rating: 6.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 85 minutes
- Country: France

“The Grapes of Death” stars Marie-Georges Pascal as Élizabeth, a young woman who discovers that wine made from contaminated grapes is turning the people who drink it into zombies. One difference from other movies in the subgenre is that these zombies sometimes return to consciousness and become aware of the terrible things they’re doing.

7 / 60
Ancla Century Films

#54. Return of the Evil Dead (1973)

- Director: Amando de Ossorio
- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 91 minutes
- Country: Spain

A direct sequel to 1972’s “Tombs of the Blind Dead,” this film focuses on a group of survivors who take refuge in an abandoned Madrid cathedral. In Ossorio’s zombie franchise, the undead are blind and hunt victims through sound.

8 / 60
Focus Features

#53. ParaNorman (2012)

- Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 92 minutes
- Country: US

“Paranorman” protagonist Norman befriends the ghosts and zombies that he’s able to speak to, but when a witch’s curse raises bloodthirsty zombies from their graves, he’s the only person who can stop them. The film was the first stop-motion movie that used a 3D color printer to create character faces.

9 / 60
Screen Gems

#52. Quarantine (2008)

- Director: John Erick Dowdle
- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Metascore: 53
- Runtime: 89 minutes
- Country: US

As “Quarantine” begins, a TV reporter (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) are filming a story about night-shift firefighters. However, they’re soon trapped inside a building quarantined by the CDC when a virus begins turning people into zombies.

10 / 60
Artfire Films

#51. Diary of the Dead (2007)

- Director: George A. Romero
- IMDb user rating: 5.6
- Metascore: 66
- Runtime: 95 minutes
- Country: US

In the fifth installment of Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” franchise, several young film students are shooting their own horror movie when a zombie outbreak occurs. Soon, they’re picked off one by one as they travel to their friend’s isolated mansion in search of safety.

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11 / 60
Le Pacte

#50. The Horde (2009)

- Directors: Yannick Dahan, Benjamin Rocher
- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 90 minutes
- Country: Germany

After one of their colleagues is murdered by an infamous drug dealer, several Parisian police officers go after the man’s violent gang. However, when the criminals and cops discover that the apartment block has been overrun by the undead, they’re forced to band together to survive.

12 / 60
La Zanfoña Producciones

#49. Juan of the Dead (2011)

- Director: Alejandro Brugués
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 92 minutes
- Country: Spain

When a zombie invasion hits Havana, Cuba, slacker Juan (Alexis Díaz de Villegas) takes the opportunity to start a fruitful zombie-killing business. In a political move from Brugués, the onscreen Cuban media and government begin to claim that the zombies are actually dissidents protesting the government.

13 / 60
Ellanby Films

#48. Blue Sunshine (1978)

- Director: Jeff Lieberman
- IMDb user rating: 6.0
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 94 minutes
- Country: US

In “Blue Sunshine,” a man accused of murder attempts to solve a bizarre series of Los Angeles murders where people go bald and become homicidal. The film amassed a cult following, and Slant Magazine’s Budd Wilkins called it “an unjustly neglected genre classic that delivers a deft fusion of horror movie tropes, social satire, and cult film weirdness.”

14 / 60
Bandai Visual Company

#47. Return of the Living Dead III (1993)

- Director: Brian Yuzna
- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Metascore: 47
- Runtime: 97 minutes
- Country: US

“Return of the Living Dead III” revolves around Curt (J. Trevor Edmond), a teenager who uses a secret military chemical to bring back his dead girlfriend (Melinda Clarke) after she’s killed in a motorcycle accident. The film is the third film in the “Return of the Living Dead” franchise and notably features much less comedy than its predecessors.

15 / 60
Flora Film

#46. Zombie Holocaust (1980)

- Director: Marino Girolami
- IMDb user rating: 5.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 84 minutes
- Country: Italy

“Zombie Holocaust” is about a group of scientists, who go on an expedition to a remote Indonesian island after a series of mysterious deaths. There, they find a mad doctor (Donald O’Brien) who has created a zombie army through strange experiments. The Italian movie is an example of a 1970s exploitation film.

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16 / 60
Zopix Company

#45. Shock Waves (1977)

- Director: Ken Wiederhorn
- IMDb user rating: 5.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 85 minutes
- Country: US

Peter Cushing stars in “Shock Waves” as an old Nazi commander, who has been secretly breeding a team of Nazi zombie soldiers. When a tourist boat comes across his remote island, chaos breaks loose.

17 / 60
Hollywoodmade

#44. Deadgirl (2008)

- Directors: Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel
- IMDb user rating: 5.6
- Metascore: 36
- Runtime: 101 minutes
- Country: US

Early on in “Deadgirl,” two teenage boys (Shiloh Fernandez and Noah Segan) come across a naked female zombie (Jenny Spain). Their friendship becomes strained when one wants to keep her as a “sex slave,” but the other boy objects. In 2012, Complex included the movie in its list of the 15 most uncomfortable moments of female nudity in film.

18 / 60
WEVCO Produce Company

#43. Versus (2000)

- Director: Ryûhei Kitamura
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 119 minutes
- Country: Japan

In “Versus,” an escaped convict (Tak Sakaguchi) and a group of gangsters scramble to fight off legions of zombies while trying to stop the gang’s leader from opening a portal of darkness at the same time. Kitamura included elements of other film genres, such as martial arts, sword fighting, and gunplay.

19 / 60
Brandywine Motionarts Films

#42. Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1972)

- Director: Bob Clark
- IMDb user rating: 5.4
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 87 minutes
- Country: US

Before Clark directed holiday films like “Black Christmas” and “A Christmas Story,” he made this dark comedy about six members of a theatrical troupe digging up a corpse to use in a mock Satanic ritual. Naturally, there are terrible results. Although “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” received mixed reviews upon its release, it later became a cult favorite.

20 / 60
Benmar Productions

#41. The Death Wheelers (1973)

- Director: Don Sharp
- IMDb user rating: 5.8
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 85 minutes
- Country: UK

“The Death Wheelers” follows Tom (Nicky Henson), a psychopath and teen gang leader who commits suicide to come back as a member of the undead and continue wreaking havoc upon his hometown. Cast member George Sanders committed suicide after seeing an answer print of the film, which was his last.

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21 / 60
Re-Animator II Productions

#40. Bride of Re-Animator (1990)

- Director: Brian Yuzna
- IMDb user rating: 6.3
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 96 minutes
- Country: US

In this sequel to 1985’s “Re-Animator,” doctors Herbert (Jeffrey Combs) and Dan (Bruce Abbott) build a woman from dead tissue and use the heart of one’s late girlfriend. Like the original movie, “Bride of Re-Animator” is loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story, “Herbert West-Reanimator.”

22 / 60
Lions Gate Films

#39. Fido (2006)

- Director: Andrew Currie
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: 70
- Runtime: 93 minutes
- Country: Canada

“Fido” opens in a 1950s-like alternate universe, where space radiation has turned corpses into zombies, who have been domesticated into menial workers and pets. A young boy (K’Sun Ray) becomes attached to the family’s new pet Zombie, Fido (Billy Connolly). However, when the zombie begins to break loose, the entire neighborhood fears for their lives.

23 / 60
Pittsburgh Films

#38. The Crazies (1973)

- Director: George A. Romero
- IMDb user rating: 6.1
- Metascore: 63
- Runtime: 103 minutes
- Country: US

“The Crazies” takes place in a small Pennsylvania town, which is infected by a zombie-making virus when a military plane crashes and infects the water supply. Army members attempt to clean up the mess they’ve made, but they soon become infected as well.

24 / 60
Filmax

#37. [Rec] 2 (2009)

- Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Metascore: 52
- Runtime: 85 minutes
- Country: Spain

“[Rec] 2” focuses on a GEO team that enters a quarantined apartment building whose tenants have become members of the undead. Little White Lies’ Matt Glasby called it “the greatest zombie sequel since ‘Dawn of the Dead.’”

25 / 60
Constantin Film

#36. Resident Evil (2002)

- Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: 33
- Runtime: 100 minutes
- Country: UK

Loosely based on the popular video game of the same name, “Resident Evil” stars Michelle Rodriguez and Milla Jovovich as leaders of a commando team who have to infiltrate an underground genetics lab known as “The Hive.” There, an accident has unleashed a deadly virus, turning personnel into flesh-eating creatures.

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26 / 60
Esteban Cinematografica

#35. Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)

- Director: Andrea Bianchi
- IMDb user rating: 5.7
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 85 minutes
- Country: Italy

When an archaeology professor (Gianluigi Chirizzi) finds an ancient crypt filled with corpses at the beginning of “Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror,” he invites several guests over to celebrate his work. However, he has accidentally unleashed a curse, which reanimates the bodies into bloodthirsty zombies.

27 / 60
21st Century Film Corporation

#34. Night of the Living Dead (1990)

- Director: Tom Savini
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 89
- Runtime: 92 minutes
- Country: US

This horror film is a remake of George A. Romero’s landmark 1968 horror film, which is often credited with kickstarting the zombie film subgenre. Like the original, this “Night of the Living Dead” is about a group of people who gather in a remote farmhouse and try to fight off a horde of the undead.

28 / 60
TriStar Pictures

#33. Evil Dead (2013)

- Director: Fede Alvarez
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Metascore: 57
- Runtime: 91 minutes
- Country: US

A soft reboot of Sam Raimi’s hit 1981 movie “The Evil Dead,” this version begins as recovering heroin addict Mia (Jane Levy), her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), and their friends travel to their family’s isolated forest cabin to help with her withdrawal. However, after they accidentally summon nearby demons with a newly discovered “Book of the Dead,” one of the creatures possesses Mia.

29 / 60
Overture Films

#32. The Crazies (2010)

- Director: Breck Eisner
- IMDb user rating: 6.1
- Metascore: 63
- Runtime: 101 minutes
- Country: US

Like the original 1973 zombie movie of the same name, 2010’s “The Crazies” follows the zombie epidemic that spreads through a small Iowa town after a military plane crashes nearby. George A. Romero, who wrote and directed the first iteration, served as an executive producer.

30 / 60
Universal Pictures

#31. Land of the Dead (2005)

- Director: George A. Romero
- IMDb user rating: 6.2
- Metascore: 71
- Runtime: 93 minutes
- Country: US

“Land of the Dead” is the fourth of Romero’s six “Living Dead” films. In this installment, the handful of surviving humans create a feudal-like, walled-off society in Pittsburgh that’s ruled harshly by a man named Paul Kaufman (Dennis Hopper).

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31 / 60
Euforia Film

#30. Dead Snow (2009)

- Director: Tommy Wirkola
- IMDb user rating: 6.3
- Metascore: 61
- Runtime: 90 minutes
- Country: Norway

In “Dead Snow,” several medical students’ ski vacation takes a turn for the worse when Nazi zombies attack them in the Norwegian mountains. Wirkola has said that he leaned on the history of the Nazis’ occupation of Norway in creating the horror-comedy’s plot.

32 / 60
Warner Bros.

#29. The Walking Dead (1936)

- Director: Michael Curtiz
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 66 minutes
- Country: US

“The Walking Dead” centers on ex-con and pianist John Ellman (Boris Karloff), who is framed for murder, executed, and brought back to life by a scientist. Then, he sets out to get revenge on the gangsters who indirectly caused his death. While he plays a zombie here, Karloff is best known for playing Frankenstein’s monster in several classic Universal monster movies.

33 / 60
Aspen Productions

#28. Dead & Buried (1981)

- Director: Gary Sherman
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 94 minutes
- Country: US

“Dead & Buried” opens in a tiny coastal town where a few tourists are murdered by mobs of townspeople. However, they soon come back as zombies. The film was originally banned as a “video nasty” in the U.K. in the early 1980s, but was later cleared of obscenity charges and gained a cult following.

34 / 60
Dimension Films

#27. Planet Terror (2007)

- Director: Robert Rodriguez
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 105 minutes
- Country: US

When an experimental bio-weapon is released in “Planet Terror,” thousands of people are turned into zombie-like creatures, and a small group of survivors is left to curb its spread. The film was released in Canada and the United States alongside Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” as a double feature entitled “Grindhouse.”

35 / 60
Dania Film

#26. City of the Living Dead (1980)

- Director: Lucio Fulci
- IMDb user rating: 6.3
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 93 minutes
- Country: Italy

In “City of the Living Dead,” a reporter (Christopher George) and a psychic (Catriona MacColl) team up to close a gateway to hell that has been opened by a clergyman’s suicide. Elements of the film are based on the work of H.P. Lovecraft—for instance, the town’s name, Dunwich, was inspired by his story, “The Dunwich Horror.”

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36 / 60
Fox Atomic

#25. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

- Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Metascore: 78
- Runtime: 100 minutes
- Country: UK

“28 Weeks Later” serves as a sequel to 2002’s “28 Days Later,” in which a zombie apocalypse safe zone in London is threatened. In this follow-up, the refugees’ return to England is threatened when the deadly virus that created the epidemic reemerges. Variety’s Derek Elley called it “a full-bore zombie romp that more than delivers the genre goods.”

37 / 60
Atlantic Entertainment Group

#24. Night of the Comet (1984)

- Director: Thom Eberhardt
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: 59
- Runtime: 95 minutes
- Country: US

In “Night of the Comet,” two Valley Girl sisters (Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney) are left to fight against evil scientists and cannibal zombies after a comet kills almost all of Earth’s population. Maroney’s character eventually inspired Joss Whedon when he created the character of Buffy Summers.

38 / 60
Ponty Up Pictures

#23. Pontypool (2008)

- Director: Bruce McDonald
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Metascore: 54
- Runtime: 93 minutes
- Country: Canada

Based on the novel “Pontypool Changes Everything,” this Canadian film follows disc jockey Grant (Stephen McHattie), whose day at work takes a turn for the worse when people begin turning into members of the undead. When he tries to warn his listeners, it becomes clear that the virus is transmitted through language.

39 / 60
Next Entertainment World

#22. Train to Busan (2016)

- Director: Yeon Sang-ho
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 118 minutes
- Country: South Korea

A father (Gong Yoo) and daughter’s (Kim Su-an) train ride from Seoul to Busan becomes a fight to survive when a zombie infestation spreads in the vehicle. “Train to Busan” broke box office records upon its release in South Korea, and in 2020, a follow-up film called “Peninsula” came out.

40 / 60
British Broadcasting Corporation

#21. Dead of Night (1974)

- Director: Bob Clark
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 88 minutes
- Country: Canada

Inspired by W.W. Jacobs’ short story “The Monkey’s Paw,” Clark’s horror film opens as American soldier Andy Brooks (Richard Backus) supposedly dies in combat. However, when he reappears at his family home after they receive notice of his death, it becomes clear that the young man has been resurrected as a zombie.

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41 / 60
Interfilme

#20. Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972)

- Director: Amando de Ossorio
- IMDb user rating: 6.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 101 minutes
- Country: Spain

The first installment in the “Blind Dead” series sees a group of friends take on blind zombies while researching an old Spanish legend. The film has been credited with helping to spark the Spanish horror movie boom of the early 1970s.

42 / 60
TriStar Pictures

#19. Night of the Creeps (1986)

- Director: Fred Dekker
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Metascore: 62
- Runtime: 88 minutes
- Country: US

In the world of “Night of the Creeps,” a group of teenagers intervenes when alien parasites creep into humans’ mouths and turn their hosts into murderous zombies. The movie developed an eventual cult following and has two different endings—one intended by Dekker, and one used for the movie’s release.

43 / 60
Columbia Pictures

#18. Zombieland (2009)

- Director: Ruben Fleischer
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 73
- Runtime: 88 minutes
- Country: US

After a disease turns most humans into zombies, four eccentric survivors take a road trip across the American Southwest to find a supposed safe haven in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Ordona praised Fleischer for “bring[ing] impeccable timing and bloodthirsty wit to the proceedings.”

44 / 60
Hammer Films

#17. The Plague of the Zombies (1966)

- Director: John Gilling
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 91 minutes
- Country: U.K.

When a mysterious Cornish epidemic occurs in “The Plague of the Zombies,” a medical professor (Andre Morell) and his daughter (Diane Clare) discover that the source of the zombie-like virus is the village squire’s (John Carson) voodoo. The movie’s visuals later inspired many films within the zombie sub-genre, such as “Night of the Living Dead.”

45 / 60
Star Films S.A.

#16. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

- Director: Jorge Grau
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 93 minutes
- Country: Italy

At the beginning of “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie,” a police officer is trailing two hippies accused of multiple homicides. Later, he learns that the murders were actually done by zombies created by chemical pesticides.

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46 / 60
Strike Entertainment

#15. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

- Director: Zack Snyder
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 59
- Runtime: 101 minutes
- Country: US

“Dawn of the Dead” centers on a ragtag group of apocalypse survivors, who take refuge from zombies in a large Midwestern shopping mall. The film is a reimagining of George A. Romero’s 1978 cult film of the same name. Rolling Stone ranked Snyder’s version at #3 in their list of the 10 best zombie movies.

47 / 60
Victor & Edward Halperin Productions

#14. White Zombie (1932)

- Director: Victor Halperin
- IMDb user rating: 6.3
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 69 minutes
- Country: US

Considered to be the first feature-length zombie film, “White Zombie” focuses on a young man who asks for a witch doctor’s help in drawing a woman he desires away from her fiancé. Things backfire when she becomes an undead slave instead.

48 / 60
Audifilm

#13. Cemetery Man (1994)

- Director: Michele Soavi
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 105 minutes
- Country: Italy

A cemetery custodian’s job becomes much more tedious in “Cemetery Man,” when the dead start rising and he’s forced to kill them a second time. More recently, Bloody Disgusting's Drew Dietsch described it as “yet another reminder that genuine genre masterpieces frequently came out of the 1990s.”

49 / 60
Fulvia Film

#12. The Beyond (1981)

- Director: Lucio Fulci
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Metascore: 38
- Runtime: 87 minutes
- Country: Italy

When a young woman (Catriona MacColl) inherits an old Louisiana hotel in “The Beyond,” she finds out that the property was built over an entrance to Hell. Because of this, reanimated corpses and an entire host of supernatural creatures terrorize her and her friends.

50 / 60
Variety Film

#11. Zombie (1979)

- Director: Lucio Fulci
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Metascore: 54
- Runtime: 91 minutes
- Country: Italy

In this sequel to the re-edited Italian version of George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead,” a young woman named Anne (Tisa Farrow) travels to a remote Caribbean island in search of her missing scientist father. There, they find that the island has been cursed by voodoo, resurrecting zombies who attack any and all visitors.

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51 / 60
Castelao Producciones

#10. [Rec] (2007)

- Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 78 minutes
- Country: Spain

“[Rec]” follows a TV reporter (Manuela Velasco) and cameraman (Pablo Rosso) who are covering a firefighter intervention and become trapped in an apartment building where a virus is turning occupants into zombies. Since its release, the movie has been celebrated as one of the strongest entries in the found footage genre.

52 / 60
United Film Distribution Company

#9. Day of the Dead (1985)

- Director: George A. Romero
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 60
- Runtime: 96 minutes
- Country: US

In the third entry in the “Night of the Living Dead” series, tensions flare when a small team of scientists and soldiers are forced to live together in an underground bunker during a zombie apocalypse. Romero described “Day of the Dead” as “a tragedy about how a lack of human communication causes chaos and collapse even in this small little pie slice of society.”

53 / 60
Cinema '84

#8. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

- Director: Dan O'Bannon
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 66
- Runtime: 91 minutes
- Country: US

Early on in “The Return of the Living Dead,” three hapless employees at a medical supply warehouse unknowingly release a gas into the air that reanimates the dead into zombies. The creatures differ from zombies in many other films in several ways—they can run, can speak, and can’t be killed by being shot in the head.

54 / 60
Empire Pictures

#7. Re-Animator (1985)

- Director: Stuart Gordon
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 73
- Runtime: 105 minutes
- Country: US

Loosely adapted from H.P. Lovecraft’s “Herbert West-Reanimator,” this horror-comedy stars Jeffrey Combs as Herbert, a medical student who has invented a serum that can re-animate corpses. Drama ensues when another doctor (David Gale) attempts to claim the invention as his own, all while people are rising from the dead.

55 / 60
RKO Radio Pictures

#6. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

- Director: Jacques Tourneur
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 69 minutes
- Country: US

“I Walked with a Zombie” follows Betsy (Frances Dee), a nurse who is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner (Christine Gordon), who has become afflicted thanks to the island’s history of zombification and voodoo. While working on the film, producer Val Lewton asked writers to use Charlotte Brontë's “Jane Eyre” as inspiration.

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56 / 60
WingNut Films

#5. Dead Alive (1992)

- Director: Peter Jackson
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: 54
- Runtime: 104 minutes
- Country: New Zealand

In “Dead Alive,” lead character Lionel (Timothy Balme) tries to hide his zombified mother (Elizabeth Moody) in the basement, but her escape creates a neighborhood-wide epidemic. The film has received more attention years after its release, once Jackson became a well-known director for “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

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Universal Pictures

#4. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

- Director: Edgar Wright
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 99 minutes
- Country: UK

When a zombie apocalypse hits an English town, 30-something slacker Shaun (Simon Pegg) is forced to step up and protect his loved ones from the safety of a local pub. While the movie has become a cult-favorite comedy film, some scholars argue that it’s an example of how post-9/11 cultural anxieties were realized within zombie cinema.

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DNA Films

#3. 28 Days Later... (2002)

- Director: Danny Boyle
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 73
- Runtime: 113 minutes
- Country: UK

Opening a month after an incurable virus has spread throughout England, “28 Days Later…” centers on four survivors, who attempt to find shelter and come to terms with their new reality. Bloody Disgusting ranked the movie #7 in their list of the top 20 horror films of the decade, writing, “Zombie movie? Political allegory? Humanist drama? ‘28 Days Later...’ is all those things and more—a genuine work of art.”

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Dawn Associates

#2. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

- Director: George A. Romero
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 59
- Runtime: 127 minutes
- Country: US

In this sequel to “Night of the Living Dead,” David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, and Gaylen Ross play zombie apocalypse survivors who barricade themselves inside of a shopping mall in hopes of survival. Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus praises “Dawn of the Dead” as “one of the most compelling and entertaining zombie films ever made.”

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Image Ten

#1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

- Director: George A. Romero
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 89
- Runtime: 96 minutes
- Country: US

Romero revolutionized horror with “Night of the Living Dead,” which sees a group of Pennsylvanians barricade themselves in a remote farmhouse while fighting off flesh-eating creatures that have risen from the dead. The film features Duane Jones as the first Black lead in the horror genre.

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