A Christmas to Remember: A Zombie Story

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Cut to a shot of a Marvel Comic book, where various Marvel characters like Spider-Man are depicted as zombies.

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Cut to another fan art piece, this one of a zombie Tony the Tiger. NC vo : But another questioning flaw, from my point of view, is that zombies, by design, are not very interesting characters. So there's not a ton of room for development.

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Cut to more footage of these zombie movies, where the living are seen vainly struggling for survival against them. NC vo : Well, zombies are one of the supernatural monsters where the focus of the stories and even the scariness is not based around the creatures attacking the people, but rather the people themselves.

Zombie movies show what happens when everyday people are put in extreme apocalyptic situations.

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All technology and First World privileges are suddenly taken away, and whatever you are deep inside will slowly come to the surface. We quickly find out who's the survivors, the victims, the heroes, and the villains. Our animalistic tendencies and instinct for survival take over, and the battle, half the time, is not between the humans and the zombies, but between what we need to give up to survive and what we need to fight for to keep human.

The ‘Anna & The Apocalypse’ Soundtrack Will Put You In The Zombie Christmas Spirit

We ask ourselves, what will we do in these situations? Is it right to give up all kindness and survive with a cold heart? Or is it a world not worth fighting for and, even more importantly, not worth creating? Cut to a clip of Shaun of the Dead , where Shaun is aiming a rifle, point blank, at his reanimated mother.

NC vo : The setup naturally leads to a lot of commentary about society as well.

George A. Dawn of the Dead , for example, takes place in a mall, a world where people argue productivity and advertising have turned many people into zombies already.

Why Do We Love Zombies?

Stephen: Some kind of instinct. Of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives. NC vo : In Shaun of the Dead , it actually takes him a while to realize that a zombie attack has even happened. Most of the people are so drunk or tuned out of their own world that it's hard to tell who's actually still living in it. NC vo : But like I said before, the one factor that never grabbed me personally is that I never found zombies scary. I mean, don't get me wrong, I see why others can find them scary, the gore and obviously being chased by something, but just slow-moving moaners who seem pretty easy to fight off never seemed all that frightening.

NC: So, all character study and commentary aside, is there anything about zombies that's really pushing the envelope in terms of how to be scared?

I Am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas – Dósis

NC vo : In my opinion, this is where something like Walking Dead really shines through. Yeah, you got all the scenes where they're running away from the zombies, shooting them in the head, all that fun stuff. But in a couple other scenes, you see our main characters talking, and once in a while, you'll see a zombie or two just walking in the background.

After a bit, the main characters don't even notice them, and half the time, they're not even addressed. They just sort of walk along their merry way and never even glance at them. Some could consider these kind of humorous moments, and at times, it kind of is. But then it hit me. This is why zombies could only really be scary in a medium like Walking Dead.

Seeing as how it's a TV series, so much time has been dedicated to it that they have gotten used to it, so much so that they don't even try to acknowledge them. And you realize that you've come to grips with the idea that you live in a world that is always trying to get you. You can never fully be safe, you can never fully let your guard down. And this is something that only a long period of time can pull off.

NC vo : This isn't like a movie where you have an hour and a half to two or three hours to establish the characters and the scares and all. NC vo : This is a show that's still going on. And because we've been with these characters for so long and followed their journeys, we understand them acting so casually to something that in any other environment would obviously not be ignored. But we also know if we wait too long or let our guard down at just the wrong moment You'll never get that moment back. And with all the various reactions to all the various characters dying, you feel the loss, you feel the hopelessness.

And that's a different kind of horror than a monster just chasing you. It beats you down, and it slowly eats away at your humanity, to a point where you really do question what you're fighting for and if it's worth fighting for anymore. It's a different kind of terror that takes good acting and careful writing to pull off.

And shows like Walking Dead do exactly that. NC vo : So I guess that does make zombies unique, because it's one of the few scary creatures, where the scares aren't immediate; they have to be earned through time and patience. NC vo : This is something I've never really thought about until I started watching this show. And after realizing it, I did suddenly have a new appreciation for zombies that I didn't before. Not the idea of fighting the terror, but getting used to the terror, letting it slowly destroy whatever kind humanity you have left inside you; let every bad situation just build on top of each other, like every one zombie can suddenly build on top of each other.

NC vo : But it's made clear now that the reason zombies are so popular is because we love the possibilities of it.