Fast zombies or slow zombies? The debate rages on. Here are 5 arguments each for either one being the scariest.
The zombie has been a staple creature of horror movies for decades, but George Romero made it truly famous with his breakout hit Night of the Living Dead. Since that time, zombies have infiltrated everything from video games to television shows, and their popularity shows no signs of slowing down.
RELATED:10 Low Budget Zombie Horror Movies That Are Better Than Blockbusters (& Where To Stream Them)
In an effort to spice things up, many writers and directors have altered the standard slow-moving shuffler zombie by turning it into a monster that can run at tremendously high speed to chase down its victims. While that may seem to be a more terrifying prospect, there's more than meets the eye. Which type of zombie is truly more frightening?
Slow-moving zombies are much creepier and more ominous than fast zombies, specifically because both the victims and the audience are forced to come to grips with the reality of the situation. Theres time for the brain to analyze the cold bleakness of reality as the undead shamble along in slow pursuit of their next meal.
With so much time to process the experience, the human mind would involuntarily become plagued with depression and a sense of helplessness at the sheer desperation of it all. The zombie menace would be seen everywhere, rather than being concentrated in a single fast-moving swarm.
Slow zombies might be spookier, but fast zombies are much deadlier due to the inherent challenge of outrunning them. A single split-second of indecision could spell the difference between living to fight another die or dying horrifically at the hands of the undead.
The brain would have little time to process the larger scope of the situation as the body became spiked with adrenaline. Sheer flight instincts would take over in a desperate attempt to escape the ravenous hordes, and the effects would not wear off for some time.
Fast zombies are largely represented as creatures of sheer impulse rather than a testament to the downfall of society. Survivors would be able to analyze the details in each zombie and determine where these former humans came from, what they were interested in, and how they were infected.
In the end, it would be hard for the human mind to comprehend the symbolism of a planet full of the undead aimlessly shuffling forth in search of a warm-blooded meal. Imagine having to deal with that reality day in and day out.
They may be the rotting undead, but fast-moving zombies are the closest approximation of a real human due to their speed. The ability to run on sheer instinct and chase after prey would prove to be the ultimate nightmare scenario that would stick with lucky survivors.
RELATED:10 Scariest Zombie Movies (Ranked By How Hard It'd Be To Survive)
In contrast to the soulless husks that make up the slow shambling undead, fast zombies could spring to life at any moment and race forward like a track star, which would require a very kinetic form of human locomotion and skill.
Though many slow-moving zombies snarl and hiss at their victims, its largely a representation of their complete lack of humanity and a primary focus on feeding. Other slow zombie variants make little to no sound at all, which can be far more frightening.
With no clear trace amounts of humanity left in their rotting bodies, humans would find rationalizing their pointless hunger quite difficult. After all, theres nothing behind those dead eyes to work with except mindless instinct.
Fast zombies are far more interested in making moves without hesitating. Their need to feed kicks their bodies into overdrive and motivates them to close the gap as quickly as possible in order to secure a kill. Its a predatory instinct not unlike a jaguar pursuing an antelope through the tall grass.
With all markers of humanity purged from the body, the fast zombie becomes a bestial force of pure raw killing power that will not stop until it has been killed, or the victim escapes intact.
The general consensus people have regarding slow zombies is that their speed is a disadvantage. Its true that live humans can easily avoid, outrun and navigate around pockets of the undead, but that usually ends with a false sense of security giving way to disaster.
Because these zombies move so slow, their numbers steadily increase as they creep ever closer to their prey. Unless keen eyes are on the lookout, a cluster of zombies can soon turn into an inescapable horde that can overwhelm almost any force.
A single fast zombie is terrifying enough, but when others are alerted to the chase, the chances of survival quickly plummet. There are many variables at play in this scenario, including the speed of individual zombies in relation to one another.
Outrunning one zombie might be possible, butthe dynamics immediately shift as their numbers grow. Its also far more likely the victim will be overwhelmed by a horde that can form in seconds as opposed to minutes, or even hours as with slow-moving zombies.
Many foolhardy heroes have met their end at the hands of a zombie horde thanks to a false sense of security. While it is possible to take out several slow zombies with melee weapons or firearms, these actions draw attention away from the surroundings.
RELATED:The 10 Most Overused Tropes & Cliches In Zombie Fiction, Ranked
Any fighter who believes they are victorious may soon find themselves surrounded by a horde that is rapidly closing in. Others might botch a kill and step back into an injured zombie just waiting to take a bite out of the ankle. Slow-moving zombies invite bravado, machismo and aggression, but they never reward it.
The kinds of counterattacks, battle strategies and herd management plans normally associated with slow-moving zombies never work on fast ones. The situation becomes far too chaotic, too quickly. As such, its nearly impossible to formulate a decent strategy against them.
This is especially true when traversing unfamiliar territory. With no knowledge of the land, resources or chokepoints,crafting a solid battle strategy is almost impossible. Even the most basic of plans can go to the dogsduring the first minute of a free-for-all.
NEXT:The 10 Goriest Italian Horror Movies Ever Made, Ranked
Next 5 Ways Frozen 2 Is Better Than The Original (& 5 Ways The Original Is Best)
Derek's been a pop culture nut since he was a wee lad. When it's time to yell "Get off my lawn," he'll be dressed up like Kratos until the cops arrive. Derek loves contributing to both ScreenRant and TheGamer.
- Every Call of Duty: Cold War zombies camo challenge - PC Gamer - November 24th, 2020
- More Zombie Companies Have Cropped Up During the Pandemic - Barron's - November 24th, 2020
- Fear The Walking Dead Introduces Zombies That Are Actually Scary - Screen Rant - November 24th, 2020
- The Cranberries Revisit 'No Need to Argue' and the Legacy of "Zombie" - American Songwriter - November 24th, 2020
- Have we reached peak zombie? - British GQ - November 24th, 2020
- A History of the Ray Gun in Call of Duty Zombies | Game Rant - GameRant - November 24th, 2020
- Number of zombie firms to increase more than the rise in bankruptcies Natixis - FXStreet - November 24th, 2020
- Zombie Movies Are Making a Comeback, Baby! | - Post Apocalyptic Media - November 24th, 2020
- Joining the zombie invasion is the best part of WoW's Shadowlands pre-launch event - PC Gamer - November 20th, 2020
- The Cranberries Revisit Their Hit Album No Need To Argue And The Legacy Of Zombie - Forbes - November 20th, 2020
- Will America Survive the Republican Zombie Apocalypse? - Fair Observer - November 20th, 2020
- How to get the Call of Duty: Cold War Zombies Easter egg - PC Gamer - November 20th, 2020
- Who Needs Zombies When We Have Republicans? - FPIF - Foreign Policy In Focus - November 20th, 2020
- World of Warcraft's Zombie Invasion Hits Different in 2020 - Gizmodo - November 20th, 2020
- Return Of The Zombies - Seeking Alpha - November 20th, 2020
- Netflix's Army of the Dead Zombies Are 90% Practical Promises Zack Snyder - MovieWeb - November 20th, 2020
- Minecraft Earth 0.30.0 'Season 14: Tundra' made official with new zombies and improvements - re:Jerusalem - November 20th, 2020
- Ryan Hall fed up with being consistently avoided, calls for fight against The Korean Zombie - MMA Fighting - November 20th, 2020
- Aventura's Zombie-Infested Halloween Drive-Thru incredible success - Miami's Community Newspapers - November 20th, 2020
- 'Army of the Dead': Zack Snyder Teases "Insane Zombie Mayhem in His Horror Movie Return - Bloody Disgusting - November 20th, 2020
- 'TWD: World Beyond' says space spore may have started zombie outbreak - Insider - INSIDER - November 16th, 2020
- Army Of The Deads Zombies Are 90% Practical | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - November 16th, 2020
- The Cranberries' "Zombie" And Its Troubled Afterlife - Stereogum - November 16th, 2020
- Will North Korea Expect Joe Biden to Pursue a Zombie Policy? - The National Interest Online - November 16th, 2020
- Beware the Market's 'Zombie Apocalypse' - DailyWealth - November 16th, 2020
- Gambit Is The Secret Savior Of Marvels Zombie Apocalypse - Screen Rant - November 16th, 2020
- Social Media Zombies and The Walking Dead - The Augusta Chronicle - November 16th, 2020
- Has the Ultimate Villain of Marvel Zombies Been Revealed? - Screen Rant - November 16th, 2020
- Black Ops Cold War Zombies - How to Use Aetherscope - Doctor Vogel's Diary + Anomaly Locations - Attack of the Fanboy - November 16th, 2020
- Zack Snyder teases Army of the Dead as genre-destroying with very practical zombies - Gamesradar - November 16th, 2020
- Ready to take next step on 'zombie' property - Gloversville Leader-Herald - November 16th, 2020
- The X-Men's Gambit is The Perfect Zombie Hunter | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - November 16th, 2020
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies How to get the free DIE Shockwave weapon in Die Maschine - RealSport101 - November 16th, 2020
- Rob Zombie's Halloween: What Happened To The Young Michael Myers Actor - Screen Rant - November 16th, 2020
- Halloween: 5 Things Rob Zombie's Remake Kept From The Original (& 5 It Changed) - Screen Rant - November 16th, 2020
- Colin Firth Will Battle Zombies in Action Comedy New York Will Eat You Alive - MovieWeb - November 16th, 2020
- King of Eden: Another Take on the Zombie Apocalypse - Bleeding Cool News - November 9th, 2020
- Want to Fight the Zombie Fire Apocalypse? Weaponize Math. - Mother Jones - November 9th, 2020
- Colin Firth to star in zombie movie New York Will Eat You Alive - messenger-inquirer - November 9th, 2020
- Army of the Dead's Garret Dillahunt says the film has a fresh breed of zombie danger - Critical Hit - November 9th, 2020
- Colin Firth To Star In Zombie Brother Adaptation New York Will Eat You Alive From STXfilms and Tencent Pictures - Deadline - November 9th, 2020
- Zombies, Sex and Thrills: AFM Returns to Its Roots Amid Pandemic - Hollywood Reporter - November 9th, 2020
- Zack Snyders Army Of The Dead Will Reinvent Movie Zombies - Screen Rant - November 9th, 2020
- Korean zombie thriller 'Peninsula' to release in India on November 27 - The New Indian Express - November 9th, 2020
- Colin Firth to Face Down the Undead in New York Will Eat You Alive - Gizmodo - November 9th, 2020
- ROB ZOMBIE Reveals An Unheard Fact About The Recording Process Of His Band's Final Album - MetalCastle - November 9th, 2020
- A tale of Mark Lawrenson and the Zombie football club | NUFC The Mag - The Mag - November 9th, 2020
- Opinion: When Zombies Ruled The World | - mybighornbasin - November 6th, 2020
- Want to Fight the Zombie Fire Apocalypse? Weaponize Math - WIRED - November 6th, 2020
- Why Rob Zombie Tends To Kill Off The Final Girl In His Movies - We Got This Covered - November 6th, 2020
- Calls to re-open Bedford Place in Southampton - Daily Echo - November 6th, 2020
- Naruto: 5 Characters We'd Want On Our Team In The Zombie Apocalypse (& 5 We Wouldn't) - CBR - Comic Book Resources - November 5th, 2020
- Treyarch and Raven reveal more about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold Wars campaign and Zombies - VentureBeat - November 5th, 2020
- ASU Professor Discusses What The History Of Zombies Can Reveal About America - KJZZ - November 5th, 2020
- Why Rob Zombie Horror Movies Often Kill Off The Final Girl - Screen Rant - November 5th, 2020
- 10 Best Zombie Movies (Where The Outbreak Actually Ends) - Screen Rant - November 5th, 2020
- DIE! NAMITE #2 Expands Cast, Dials Up Zombie Threat to 11 - Critical Blast - November 5th, 2020
- TOMY bolsters its licensing portfolio with Sing 2 and Plants vs Zombies toy lines - Toy News - November 5th, 2020
- Zombie Rollerz: Pinball Heroes is an upcoming pinball and tower defense hybrid that's heading for Apple Arcade - Pocket Gamer - November 5th, 2020
- One Piece: 5 Characters We'd Want On Our Team In The Zombie Apocalypse (& 5 We Wouldn't) - CBR - Comic Book Resources - November 1st, 2020
- How the 1918 Flu Inspired Your Zombie Costume - Gizmodo - November 1st, 2020
- How to Avoid the Zombie Apocalypse at Work - Adweek - October 31st, 2020
- Dinosaurs Are Even Scarier When Theyre Zombies - WIRED - October 31st, 2020
- Zombie Apocalypse Outbreak: Where would you hide on campus? - The Scout - October 31st, 2020
- Financial Zombies And More - Seeking Alpha - October 31st, 2020
- The Zombie Pig, and Other Tales of Cabbage Stalk Night - iBerkshires.com - October 31st, 2020
- Thai woman dresses up as a zombie to sell clothes of the dead on Halloween - Gulf Today - October 31st, 2020
- Bitten by the love zombie | News | tribstar.com - Terre Haute Tribune Star - October 31st, 2020
- 'Zombie fires' a growing risk in the warming Arctic Yale Climate Connections - Yale Climate Connections - October 31st, 2020
- Zombie frogs? A ribbet-ing story of how frogs and toads survive winter - Herald Times Reporter - October 31st, 2020
- These Zombie Sites Have Been Brought Back to Life to Spew Disinformation - The Daily Beast - October 31st, 2020
- DCeased and Marvel Zombies Have Surprisingly Similar Cures for Their Undead Problems - CBR - Comic Book Resources - October 31st, 2020
- Zombies, twerks and platform boots: the last week on the US campaign trail - Yahoo News - October 31st, 2020
- Forget the haunted houses this year, try a zombie safari for Halloween! - CW33 NewsFix - October 31st, 2020
- Share of zombie foreclosures rise in the fourth quarter - National Mortgage News - October 31st, 2020
- Blood snow and zombie fires: 2020's ghoulish weather phenomena - WCNC.com - October 31st, 2020
- Thai zombie seller cashes in on threads of the dead - Reuters - October 31st, 2020
- 60 best zombie movies of all time | Entertainment - Grand Island Independent - October 30th, 2020
- Survive the Zombie Apocalypse From the Comfort of Your Couch as UNTURNED Launches on Consoles This November - Gamasutra - October 30th, 2020
- Marvel Zombies Walk the Earth with New Hot Toys Cosbaby's - Bleeding Cool News - October 30th, 2020
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero