Are zombie apocalypse movies part of the horror genre or a genre of their own?

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Answered by: Scott, An Expert in the Sub-Genres of Horror Category
Originally nothing more than a sub-genre of horror, zombie apocalypse movies like those made by George Romero have evolved over the years and begun to take on a life of their own.

Those classic movies put most of the focus on the walking dead themselves, and the characters of the movies were focused on merely trying to survive in a world gone mad.

This doesn't mean that there was no character development in the movies or that we didn't come to care about whether they survived or not. Most fans of the classic movies have to admit that we were rooting for the zombies most of the time and just waiting to see how the next character became a victim. The characters were still real, and a part of us was saddened when one actually did become a victim, but that wasn't really the focus of those movies. They were just another type of horror movie then.

Since that time, zombie apocalypse movies have become more and more focused on the initial survivors. How those survivors interact with one another has become more important. and the zombies have become more of a backdrop for the character stories. This change in the way the movies are often portrayed may account for the rising popularity of the movies themselves. There is something almost alluring to throwing a handful of characters into a situation into a situation where there are no rules and see how things go from there.It's a little like having a window into a world we can't know in our daily lives, a world where anything goes and only the strongest or most cunning survive. There's the added advantage that we can try to put ourselves in the shoes of the characters and ask ourselves what we would do in the same type of situation.

This is by no means the only reason that zombie movies should be considered a genre of their own, and it isn't saying that all movies featuring zombies or a zombie apocalypse are serious psychology driven stories of survival. Movies like Sean of the Dead and Zombieland have taken the classic story of survival and put a comical spin on it. These kinds of movies leave us laughing at the absurd situations while we're wondering how any of these characters manage to survive. These aren't the only ways that zombie movies have crossed genres either. Movies like Warm Bodies, Zombie Honeymoon, and My Boyfriend's Back have allowed these movies to cross over into the romance genre as well.

Perhaps the simplest way to answer the question of whether these movies are a sub-genre of horror or a genre of their own is this. Zombie movies are a genre of their own, but their also a part of every genre. If there are no set rules to follow in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, how can there be any real rules when it comes to classifying these movies as a part of one genre or another?

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