Fast Zombies Are Scarier

If you think slow zombies are scarier than fast ones, I have bad news for you: they aren’t.

I’ve been on the side of the shamblers for many years. Whenever someone asked me which was scarier, I’d always respond with, “Oh, slow ones. Of course.” And supply the usual grounds. Yes, fast zombies can run, but the unnerving inevitability of the slow approach of the walker is much more terrifying. Same principle as in slasher flicks; villain walks so damn slow, but he’ll get ya. He’ll get ya…

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But let’s face reality here, people. At the end of the day fast zombies are scarier because there is no chase. We don’t have a chance. I don’t know about you, but I can barely run a mile let alone run constantly from fast, ultra aggressive, twitchy zombies. Walkers? Yeah, I can walk at a brisk pace for quite a while. Do some dodging. Jog ahead of the zombies, turn a corner, and hide somewhere. By the time they catch up, I’ll be long gone.

livingdead

But fast ones? Yeah, I’m going to die pretty quick unless I find a very safe place to be stationary in. Think about it: no time to snipe heads as they come towards you, no time to lose them, no time to put distance between you by foot. Every ounce of determination a slow zombie has, a fast one does, too. But since they’re faster they get what they want in a fraction of the time.

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We hold on to the notion of slow zombies being the scariest because, most likely, that’s what breed of zombie you grew up on. My first zombie flick was Night of the Living Dead ’68 when I was twelve. I only saw Romero movies until Dawn of the Dead ’04, and for many years after that I still thought slows were scarier. If you’re one of those people that firmly believes in the superiority of a slow zombie over a fast, I ask you to really consider the reality of why they are better or scarier, and share your thoughts.

But me? Fast zombies are scarier than slow zombies. Does that mean walkers don’t have any merit in the undead world? Absolutely not. That they aren’t scary in their own way? Nope. It just means, if the zombocalypse were real, you’d be a hell of a lot more afraid if they were fast.

 

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About Eloise J. Knapp

Eloise J. Knapp is an author and designer living in the Pacific Northwest.
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7 Responses to Fast Zombies Are Scarier

  1. Fast zombies give you no time to think and that makes them more frightening to me. Especially if you find yourself in an unfamiliar city being chased by zombies of the running persuasion. You’ll never have enough time to plan ahead unless you can get somewhere high up to survey and then most likely you’ll just be trapped with a horde of fast zombies below you growing larger by the second. Yikes.

  2. Slow zombies appeal to the more passive characteristics of humanity. When things get routine we turn the blinders on and become complacent. We forget about risks and dangers. The slow movie zombies while not as much of an instant threat as runners, provide more of a long term threat. Fast running zombies require you to make snap decisions and think on your toes, whereas slow moving zombies require you to have your wits about you for the long haul. You take out one or two slow movers and you get cocky and it becomes second nature, almost to the point of them being a pest. That’s when your guard comes down and they become more of a threat. With a slow moving outbreak you don’t see them coming and it’s what is lurking in the shadows that becomes the big threat. With a fats moving mob, you hear them coming a mile off and you can run. With slow movers, they pop out of the shadows and bam! One bitten neck.

    Fast zombies also appeal to the instant gratification tendencies of society where everything has to be fast and now.

    Just my two cents.

  3. kensaied says:

    Snyder’s fast zombies are scary, but they are still easily dispatched with a blow to the head or total body destruction. Dan O’Bannon’s Return Of The Living Dead zombies on the other hand? I am going to do myself in before they get to me… 🙂

  4. Shift_Master says:

    When my friends and I discuss zombie scenarios, the first thing discussed is always “slow of fast”. Our general assumption (perhaps entirely unfounded) is that slow zombies will be long lived, fast zombies short lived (28 days later style). We generally figure we may be running and gunning for years with a slow zombie infestation, but may only need to survive for several weeks to out-live fast zombies. All that said, fast zombies would scare me much worse, I wasn’t much of a runner in my younger days, and my younger days are behind me now.

  5. kjburke says:

    I was like you, just assuming slow was scarier by default. Then when I mentally catalogued the zombie films that have truly scared the crap out of me (like Dawn of the Dead remake) I realized almost all of them featured fast ones. I am a fast zombie convert.

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