How Zombieland Created a New Genre by Adding Humour and Subtracting Fear

How Zombieland Created a New Genre by Adding Humour and Subtracting Fear

Zombieland changed the way producers looked at the zombie films. It introduced humour as the cohesive force between the newly found genre and the audiences.

Soheib Ahsan
  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: October 17, 2019, 7:02 AM IST
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The Zombieland franchise is set to be back after a whole decade with the original cast tied together as they last left us. Despite uncertainties of the film’s making over the years, Zombieland: Double Tap is ready for fans and will be hitting screens soon. The anticipation surrounding the film as well as its fan base has remained firm and strong as it was since the release of the first Zombieland film. 

One of the major reasons behind this is that Zombieland, despite being a part of the massive zombie genre, has set itself apart from others. It is not the first zombie comedy film but still has a perspective that makes it unique in its narrative and characters.

One of the common factors that most zombie films involve is exploring causes that led to the zombie apocalypse. Films like Resident Evil and World War Z contributed a major part of their story towards the intricate details revolving around the disease outbreak that led to the apocalypse. But they spent little to no time on the concept and only refers to it as a ‘cow disease.’

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Another important factor that zombie films focus on is finding a resolution towards the end of the film on stopping the apocalypse itself in one way or another. World War Z, Shaun of the Dead, Warm Bodies, Resident Evil, and other films have explored and used different methods to either stop the apocalypse or avoid it somehow.

While World War Z explored a method of dampening the senses of the undead, Shaun of the Dead, saw the film’s climax domesticate the zombies. Warm Bodies and Resident Evil, both used the idea of a cure to end the apocalypse. 

Zombieland though has not addressed the idea of a cure or an end to the apocalypse. The film only focuses on the characters fighting, killing and escaping from the undead. The trailer of the second installment continues the theme of the previous film and has not suggested the idea of a cure.




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The idea of no cure existing or being found is also shared by The Walking Dead franchise. A comic adapted into a television series, it explores the different ways communities and groups of people deal with the apocalypse. While some try to rebuild civilization through hard work, others turn to criminal methods of surviving. 

Zombieland, on a different note, focuses on the individual characters and how they accept and cope up with the apocalypse. While its concept maybe similar to that of The Walking Dead, the two franchises differ on the basis of their perspective. Where The Walking Dead uses gore and thriller styled narratives, Zombieland relies on humor entirely. The humor of the film largely rests on its characters.

Going by the trailers of the Zombieland sequel, multiple characters will be introduced in the film adding to the variety of its characters.




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Another interesting and unique concept adopted by the Zombieland franchise is the names of their characters. For avoiding attachment, characters are seen using names of the places they are from and avoiding using real names. The concept has been carried over to the sequel as well. The only exception to this concept was Emma Stone’s character who reveals her name to Jesse Eisenberg after he saves her life at the end of the first film.

Whether there will be any more exceptions to this and what other interesting concepts will be added to the Zombieland franchise will only be known after the release of Zombieland: Double Tap.

While there haven’t been any official confirmations, Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick had earlier stated that they were interested in making multiple sequels. The possibility of that may probably depend on how Zombieland: Double Tap gets received. 

Zombieland stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin in the lead roles. Directed by Ruben Fleischer, it is set to release on October 18.

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