Shaun of the Dead, and most zombie movies, bring home the truth that such stories often tell. They often portray civilized life as damning and even deadening. (It’s notable that Night of the Living Dead begins in a graveyard. It’s notable that the zombies in both versions of Dawn of the Dead shamble to the shopping mall.) The civilization zombies destroy is already infected. The stories we tell about them offer a dark fantasy of escape, a return to a simpler, if more brutal, existence. One of the beautiful features of revolting horror movies is their liberation from the need to offer any positive resolution or benign anthropology. Though comedies tell a deep truth about eschatological hope, horror movies speak a prophetic, if unwelcome, word about our predilection toward evil. In this way, the horror genre may be closer to the Christian worldview than we may like to admit. Instead of vain trust in the kindness of strangers, zombie movies are often more honest about our unredeemed spiritual state.
This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Phil Tallon about his online-exclusive, “Our Own Worst Enemy: Zombie Movies and the Horror of Human Sin“.
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