Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment brings India’s first zombie series ‘Betaal’ to
Netflix on 24th May. The trailer is terrifying AF, and promises one helluva horror series, the likes never seen before in the country, used to, as we are, to the Ramsay Brothers and revengeful ghosts type of horror.
World War Z (2013), Netflix, Jio Cinema, YouTube, Apple TV, Rotten Tomatoes Rating 66%
A mysterious zombie pandemic has taken over the world, and most humans have been turned into zombies by the deathly virus. Brad Pitt plays a former UN inspector who goes into the terrifying outside to investigate the zombie apocalypse and find a cure. It is grisly, gruesome and truly terrifying. The movie traverses the globe, as against the normal zombie template of gory chaos confined to a closed or small area. It is also a fast-paced action thriller instead of the conventional slow-moving, slow burn zombie drama.
Cargo (2015), Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes Rating 88%
Cargo stands out because of two things – Martin Freeman’s brilliant performance, and the underlying tender paternal emotions depicted in this under-rated zombie movie. Martin Freeman plays a single father in this Netflix Original movie, who has been infected with the zombie virus sweeping the country, and is slowly turning into a zombie – it takes two days for the infected to turn into zombies. But before he joins the zombie ranks, he must find a way to protect his tiny daughter from the ensuing hell. It is a well-made zombie movie whose slow pace makes an even greater impact in delivering the chills.
Train To Busan (2016), Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes Rating 94%
Yeon Sang-ho’s brilliant Korean zombie flick ‘Train to Busan’ is all about a nightmarish ride taken by a father and his young daughter in a train from Seoul to Busan. The entire train, in fact the whole country, is in the grip of a zombie apocalypse after a hellish virus has turned normal people into vicious, blood-thirsty zombies. The entire zombie action takes place in the claustrophobic confines of the train, as father and daughter fight to survive the train ride from hell, even as they are surrounded by the grotesque undead. It is a taut thriller, with soul-crushing shots, macabre monsters and a dance of death.
28 Days Later (2002) and It’s Sequel 28 Weeks Later (2007), YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV, Rotten Tomatoes Rating 87% and 71% resp.
A terrifying tale in which London is caught in the throes of a mysterious virus whose aftermath, 28 days later, turns infected people into inhuman, bloodthirsty, raging maniacs who will let nothing stop them from ravaging and killing whatever sane population remains. It is even more terrifying for the hint of reality it conveys. Its sequel is set 6 months later, when the marauding mob of maniacs persists in choreographing the macabre dance of death. Both movies, made by Danny Boyle creations, are unnerving as hell, and manage to get under the skin of the viewer.
Zombieland (2009), Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes Rating 90%
Our last entry, Zombieland, is the perfect combination of horror and humour, with enough scares and laughs to engage most viewers. It is gory and grisly, but it is also fun and light-hearted. The world has been run over with humans-turned-zombies. Four lucky survivors find their way to a Los Angeles amusement park which is the only supposedly zombie-safe haven there is. But is it really as ‘safe’ as they think? Stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin seem to be having the most fun in the movie, as we’re sure you’ll have too.
While this is hardly a comprehensive list of zombie movies, we’re afraid the all-time best zombie flicks such as Night Of The Living Dead (1968, 97% on Rotten Tomatoes), Dawn Of The Dead (1978, 93% on Rotten Tomatoes) and Shaun Of The Dead (2004, 92% on Rotten Tomatoes) are not streaming anywhere on OTT platforms available in India. They are available on Hulu, so readers in the U.S. may check these out too, in addition to the above.