night of the living dead

(Welcome to The Final Girl, a regular feature from someone who has steered clear of horror and is ready to finally embrace the genre that goes bump in the night. Next on the list: George Romero’s zombie classic Night of the Living Dead.)

This may come as a shock, but I kind of love zombie movies. I know this whole series is based on the fact that I wouldn’t touch a horror movie with a 30-inch pole, but I would gladly double-tap on any zombie movie.

There’s something about how zombie movies magnify emotions and present a warped reflection of the human condition — all beneath the pretense of blood and guts, of course — that draws me in. It’s a simple B-movie premise, but zombies speak to larger ideas that I find utterly fascinating.

I can trace back my interest to its lame, nerdy beginnings. It began, as all passions do, with a college seminar. I had attended a seminar by one of my film studies professors, who introduced the theory that movie zombies were a manifestation of the deeper societal fears that plagued America at specific moments in time. It’s by no means an original idea, but it blew my mind open. And it opened me up to the slow, reluctant acceptance of horror movies.

So it’s time to go back to where it all began. It’s time to finally explore George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

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