Horror: one of the most imaginative, versatile genres around. If done well it thrills, entertains and occasionally makes us laugh.
It’s the lifeblood of the movie industry that never falls out of fashion, and can turn filmmakers with shoe-string budgets into A-list directors.
So as Brad Pitt’s new movie World War Z hits the big screen, it makes me wonder: why am I so bored of the genre?
World War Z promises to give us something we haven't seen before."
Could it be because zombies, like vampires, have been done to death in movies over the years. Or is it just the fact that as antagonists, these brain-hungry characters are just so, well, dull?
World War Z promises to give us something we haven't seen before – an A-list star trying to get his family to safety while the walking dead stop at nothing to devour them.
Chances are you've seen the trailer, though I was more shocked by a biker clipping Brad's wing mirror than the sight of computer-rendered, flesh-chomping bad guys climbing ant-like on top of each other to scale an enormous wall.
(At least that’s original, unlike yet another scene where characters are sucked from a damaged aircraft – see Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness and After Earth for further proof).
Zombies, like all good villains, can be viewed on many levels.
In the 1960s, George Romero's literally ground-breaking Night Of The Living Dead was a luminous, monochrome classic which reflected the Civil Rights riots of the era.
A decade later, Romero poked fun at consumerism with the mall-centric Dawn Of The Dead.
By the mid-1980s, it seemed Hollywood had grown tired of the genre, and the poor box office returns for his Day Of The Dead reflected the fact.
However, much-missed Alien creator Dan O’Bannon injected new life into the flatlining genre with his spoof chiller The Return Of The Living Dead.
While some friends can't get enough of TV hit The Walking Dead, that leaves me colder than winter."
These days you can’t move for the things. We’ve had zombie Nazis (Dead Snow), found footage zombies (Diary Of The Dead) and geriatric horror comedy (Cockneys vs Zombies) to name just three.
While some friends can't get enough of TV hit The Walking Dead, that leaves me colder than winter.
I just don't care enough about the protagonists, especially when part of the series just seems to be an excuse to show lingering scenes of characters torn apart like ravenous teens tucking into a takeout.
However, it’s the Resident Evil movies that annoy me the most.
A cloned Milla Jovovich kicking zombie derrière while spouting ‘dire-logue’ may look astonishingly slick, especially in 3D and Blu-ray, but for me her gravity-defying antics in five movies have started a worrying trend.
The more stupid and nonsensical Paul WS Anderson’s series becomes, the more money they seem to make. And that sends a message to many other film-makers: your horror film doesn’t have to make any sense – it just has to have monsters, martial arts and mayhem.
Thankfully there have been some diamonds in the rough in recent years.
Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, and its sequel; Zack Snyder’s Dawn Of The Dead remake, and zom-coms Shaun Of The Dead and Zombieland were all great entertainment, but I’m hoping World War Z can give genre fans the intelligent horror epic we’ve long been craving.
I'll be rooting for the brain-chompers if Brad starts spouting generic Scooby Doo-style dialogue."
At least it boasts Marc Forster at the helm, a director who may have dropped the 007 ball with Quantum Of Solace, but who previously proved his worth with diversely brilliant offerings Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland and Stranger Than Fiction.
It doesn’t hurt that Drew Goddard (Cabin In The Woods), Matthew Michael Carnahan (State Of Play), and Damon Lindelof (Star Trek Into Darkness) have had a hand in the screenplay.
So, fingers crossed for something new, but as much as I hate to admit it, I'll be rooting for the brain-chompers if Brad starts spouting generic Scooby Doo-style dialogue as the decaying villains close in for the kill.
World War ZZZ? Let’s hope not.
Roger Crow is six weeks older than Night of the Living Dead, and is happy composing film features rather than decomposing.