Of course, in the movie world, viral outbreaks manifest themselves in a variety of ways, with the most popular having the infected mutating into some sort of violent, murderous, often zombie-like, creature. Societies collapse as governments and militaries attempt to contain the spread of the virus. Quarantined people, driven mad by seclusion, turn on one another. Survivors struggle to find sanctuaries and grapple with deciding who can be trusted.
#30 Night of the Comet (1984) 79% #30 Adjusted Score: 80525% Critics Consensus: Valley Girl culture satire Night of the Comet gets lots of mileage out of its slapstick sci-fi zombie approach. Synopsis: After a rare comet sighting, teen sisters Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) and Samantha (Kelli Maroney) find that they're among the... [More] Starring: Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Robert Beltran, Geoffrey Lewis Directed By: Thom Eberhardt #29 Juan of the Dead (2011) 83% #29 Adjusted Score: 80210% Critics Consensus: Filled with wild splatter slapstick, Juan of the Dead also deftly uses its zombie premise as an undead Trojan horse for insightful political commentary. Synopsis: When the dead rise and attack the living, Juan starts a zombie-killing business, until he has to save his small... [More] Starring: Blanca Rosa Blanco, Elsa Camp, Antonio Dechent, Luis Alberto Garcia Directed By: Alejandro Brugués #28 Little Monsters (2019) 80% #28 Adjusted Score: 86571% Critics Consensus: Led by typically outstanding work from Lupita Nyong'o, Little Monsters is a horror/rom-com hybrid that proves the zombie genre still has fresh brains to savor. Synopsis: ... [More] Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Josh Gad, Stephen Peacocke, Kat Stewart Directed By: Abe Forsythe #27 Wild Zero (2000) 100% #27 Adjusted Score: 24450% Critics Consensus: No consensus yet. Synopsis: Ace saves his heroes from alien invaders that turn people into zombies.... [More] Starring: Guitar Wolf, Drum Wolf, Bass Wolf, Masashi Endo Directed By: Tetsuro Takeuchi #26 Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998) 88% #26 Adjusted Score: 29471% Critics Consensus: No consensus yet. Synopsis: Scooby (Scott Innes) and the rest of the Mystery, Inc., crew encounter creepy characters at a haunted house on a... [More] Starring: Scott Innes, Billy West, Mary Kay Bergman, Frank Welker Directed By: Jim Stenstrum #25 Resident Evil (2002) 35% #25 Adjusted Score: 38722% Critics Consensus: Like other video game adapations, Resident Evil is loud, violent, formulaic, and cheesy. Synopsis: Based on the popular video game, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez star as the leaders of a commando team who... [More] Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, Ryan McCluskey Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson #24 Cemetery Man (1995) 61% #24 Adjusted Score: 61985% Critics Consensus: Cemetery Man will frustrate viewers seeking narrative cohesion or coherence, but this surreal blend of humor and horror should satisfy B-movie fans in the mood for quirk. Synopsis: Something is causing the dead to rise from their graves as flesh-eating zombies, and cemetery custodian Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett)... [More] Starring: Rupert Everett, Francois Hadji Lazaro, Anna Falchi, Stefano Masciarelli Directed By: Michele Soavi #23 Deathdream (1974) 83% #23 Adjusted Score: 83220% Critics Consensus: No consensus yet. Synopsis: When a Vietnam war casualty (Richard Backus) returns to his parents (John Marley, Lynn Carlin), he prowls in search of... [More] Starring: John Marley, Richard Backus, Lynn Carlin, Henderson Forsythe Directed By: Bob Clark #22 28 Weeks Later (2007) 72% #22 Adjusted Score: 79293% Critics Consensus: While 28 Weeks Later lacks the humanism that made 28 Days Later a classic, it's made up with fantastic atmosphere and punchy direction. Synopsis: Six months after the original epidemic, the rage virus has all but annihilated the population of the British Isles. Nevertheless... [More] Starring: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau Directed By: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo #21 Versus (2000) 75% #21 Adjusted Score: 44723% Critics Consensus: No consensus yet. Synopsis: An escaped prisoner (Tak Sakaguchi) and a mysterious young woman (Chieko Misaka) face an onslaught of indestructible undead fighters in... [More] Starring: Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki, Chieko Misaka, Kenji Matsuda Directed By: Ryûhei Kitamura #20 Night of the Creeps (1986) 75% #20 Adjusted Score: 75915% Critics Consensus: No consensus yet. Synopsis: Fraternity pledges (Jason Lively, Steve Marshall) pull a prank with a frozen body and let sluglike creatures loose on campus.... [More] Starring: Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow, Tom Atkins Directed By: Fred Dekker #19 I Walked With a Zombie (1943) 85% #19 Adjusted Score: 91017% Critics Consensus: Evocative direction by Jacques Tourneur collides with the low-rent production values of exploitateer Val Lewton in I Walked with a Zombie, a sultry sleeper that's simultaneously smarmy, eloquent and fascinating. Synopsis: Canadian nurse Betsey Connell (Frances Dee) is hired to care for Jessica Holland (Christine Gordon), a woman on a Caribbean... [More] Starring: James Ellison, Frances Dee, Tom Conway, Edith Barrett Directed By: Jacques Tourneur #18 Warm Bodies (2013) 81% #18 Adjusted Score: 88669% Critics Consensus: Warm Bodies offers a sweet, well-acted spin on a genre that all too often lives down to its brain-dead protagonists. Synopsis: A terrible plague has left the planet's population divided between zombies and humans. An unusual zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult)... [More] Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Rob Corddry Directed By: Jonathan Levine #17 Planet Terror (2007) 76% #17 Adjusted Score: 76708% Critics Consensus: A cool and hip grindhouse throwback, Planet Terror is an unpredictable zombie thrillride. Synopsis: An ordinary evening in a small Texas town becomes a grisly nightmare when a horde of flesh-eating zombies goes on... [More] Starring: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton Directed By: Robert Rodriguez #16 Zombie Flesh-Eaters (1979) 41% #16 Adjusted Score: 42512% Critics Consensus: Zombi 2 is an absurdly graphic zombie movie legendary for some gory scenes and nothing in between. Synopsis: A New York reporter (Ian McCulloch) follows a woman (Tisa Farrow) to an island where a doctor (Richard Johnson) faces... [More] Starring: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver Directed By: Lucio Fulci #15 Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974) 86% #15 Adjusted Score: 87131% Critics Consensus: No consensus yet. Synopsis: A cop does not realize that those responsible for several murders are the living dead.... [More] Starring: Raymond Lovelock, Cristina Galbo, Arthur Kennedy, Aldo Massasso Directed By: Jorge Grau #14 World War Z (2013) 66% #14 Adjusted Score: 76491% Critics Consensus: It's uneven and diverges from the source book, but World War Z still brings smart, fast-moving thrills and a solid performance from Brad Pitt to the zombie genre. Synopsis: When former U.N. investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family get stuck in urban gridlock, he senses that it's... [More] Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Daniella Kertesz Directed By: Marc Forster #13 Dawn of the Dead (2004) 76% #13 Adjusted Score: 82606% Critics Consensus: A kinetic, violent and surprisingly worthy remake of George Romero's horror classic that pays homage to the original while working on its own terms. Synopsis: When her husband is attacked by a zombified neighbor, Ana (Sarah Polley) manages to escape, only to realize her entire... [More] Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer Directed By: Zack Snyder #12 Day of the Dead (1985) 86% #12 Adjusted Score: 88784% Critics Consensus: Day of the Dead may arguably be the least haunting entry in George A. Romero's undead trilogy, but it will give audiences' plenty to chew on with its shocking gore and scathing view of society. Synopsis: The living dead regroup above while humans (Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato) sweat it out below in a Florida... [More] Starring: Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato, Jarlath Conroy Directed By: George A. Romero #11 One Cut of the Dead (2017) 100% #11 Adjusted Score: 104449% Critics Consensus: Brainy and bloody in equal measure, One Cut of the Dead reanimates the moribund zombie genre with a refreshing blend of formal daring and clever satire. Synopsis: Real zombies attack a hack director and a film crew who are shooting a low budget zombie film in an... [More] Starring: Takayuki Hamatsu, Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya Directed By: Shinichiro Ueda #10 The Return of the Living Dead (1985) 91% #10 Adjusted Score: 93960% Critics Consensus: A punk take on the zombie genre, The Return of the Living Dead injects a healthy dose of '80s silliness to the flesh-consuming. Synopsis: When foreman Frank (James Karen) shows new employee Freddy (Thom Mathews) a secret military experiment in a supply warehouse, the... [More] Starring: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews Directed By: Dan O'Bannon #9 Dead Alive (1992) 89% #9 Adjusted Score: 92044% Critics Consensus: The delightfully gonzo tale of a lovestruck teen and his zombified mother, Dead Alive is extremely gory and exceedingly good fun, thanks to Peter Jackson's affection for the tastelessly sublime. Synopsis: Overprotective mother Vera Cosgrove (Elizabeth Moody), spying on her grown son, Lionel (Timothy Balme), as he visits the zoo with... [More] Starring: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin Directed By: Peter Jackson #8 Re-Animator (1985) 94% #8 Adjusted Score: 98479% Critics Consensus: Perfectly mixing humor and horror, the only thing more effective than Re-Animator's gory scares are its dry, deadpan jokes. Synopsis: A medical student (Jeffrey Combs) brings his headless professor back from the de