Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead ★★★★★

They're coming for you, Barbara!
-Johnny

The birth of the modern zombie. It's often that Night of the Living Dead is simply mentioned as the first modern zombie film and almost all the praise goes to Dawn of the Dead as the greatest zombie film ever made. Night deserves much more praise then that.

The rules of the modern zombie is engraved in pop culture. My 9 year old stepdaughter knows what a zombie is and she's never witnessed a zombie movie. That's why most casual viewers watch NotLD without realizing just how brilliant it is.

The manner in which the nature of the zombies, what their capable of, is discovered by the survivors (and the audience) is a stroke of genius. Most horror movies have a tendency to make you understand the threat right at the beginning of the film and the rest of the movie is the potential victims trying to survive. This movie starts out without explaining a damn thing to you and then slowly gives you information as the movie goes a long as to why these crazed people are attacking everyone. That right there builds much more tension then a psycho killer chasing around victims for 90 minutes could ever do.

My favorite tension builder in the movie is the fact that you don't find out that the undead eat flesh by first seeing it, you find out by a news cast. What this does is build tension, because now as a viewer you know what's coming but you have no idea when and how bad it's going to be. Also after our survivors find that out we no longer see the zombies outside for what feels like an eternity and it drives you nuts. With that simple scene it turns the threat we thought we understood into an unknown again. Rarely can any horror movie pull that off. This really is one of the best horror movies ever made.

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