Zombie films might be a little diluted nowadays, as almost every scenario has been made into an undead nightmare. However, within the sea of this genre, there is a shining example of the perfect zombie movie: World War Z.

Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane in World War Z / Picture Credit: Skydance Media

Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane in World War Z / Picture Credit: Skydance Media

Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a man who left the world of the military to be with his family. The movie begins with Gerry, his wife and two daughters preparing to take a trip, but of course, they don’t reach their destination.

Within minutes, the apocalypse begins. Gerry and his family manage to get to safety and board a helicopter sent by his former boss.

The Lane family make it onto a military ship far out from land; soon after their arrival, Captain Speke (James Badge Dale) tells Gerry that in order for his family to remain on the boat, he must accompany a doctor to Korea so he can attempt to find information that will lead to a cure.

When Korea turns out to be a failure, Gerry must then travel to Jerusalem to find an answer.

From then, the film follows Gerry as he works himself to the bone trying to save not only his family, but the whole planet. He comes across helpful allies and relentless, terrifying zombies on his journey, but can one man figure out what doctors and the military couldn’t?

Gerry Lane and his family /  Picture Credit: Skydance Media
Gerry Lane and his family / Picture Credit: Skydance Media

World War Z (2013) has some incredible features that make it the perfect zombie movie; Pitt was the best choice to play Gerry, as his loving, caring attitude is show throughout the film with everyone he meets.

His calm demeanour shows just one way someone may react in a crisis, while he is not screaming or panicking, his quiet terror sits just below the surface, allowing the character to complete his tasks and remain level-headed.

Pitt did an excellent job as Gerry, as the character needed to be a family man with a past that might not seem to match the man making pancakes for his family in a morning. He is able to show fear, yet keeps the emotion hidden and replaces it with bravery or respect for those around him.

Another thing this movie does exceptionally well, is the dialogue. The writer, Max Brooks, did a sensational job with the script; the casual way Gerry speaks to his family, the conversations between him and his former boss, and the way that Gerry speaks with such passion and even desperation shows him to be someone who does not quit, but who is very close to doing so.

But, what would a zombie movie be without some undead villains? The zombies within this film are simply amazing; the lore within this story is well thought out so it works well for the narrative, but also creates an even more terrifying atmosphere.

When bitten, people turn undead within 12-15 seconds (usually), which makes for a genuinely tense film as Gerry watches a man turn before his eyes in seconds. This also allows the story to move faster as the ‘transition’ is quick, creating a panicked feeling for the film.

Gerry comes face-to-face with a zombie /  Picture Credit: Skydance Media
Gerry comes face-to-face with a zombie / Picture Credit: Skydance Media

Not only is the lore spot on, but the appearance of the zombies is brilliant. They look deprived of water and food, and many have a pale skin tone, which is suggestive of their condition.

The way the zombies move is also something that makes the film stand out; they walk slowly, twitch every now and again, and the noises their bones make when they break into a sprint or whirl around to see if anyone is nearby is so clever, and will make you cringe in your seat.

The scene in the WHO facility in Wales is a great example; Gerry and two others he met along the way must creep past an undead scientist; the zombie is constantly shrieking and twisting around to face the trio, creating a genuinely nail-biting moment.

Audiences are allowed some time to figure out what it is that Gerry has discovered before it is revealed out loud; this is a very smart tactic as if you solve it then you feel a sense of achievement, but if you’re still unsure, it is explained through dialogue and perfect shots so you understand what Gerry has uncovered.

To put it plainly, this movie is a masterpiece. It is filled with perfect dialogue, stunning performances, ideal characters and actors, and incredible set design and writing.

World War Z is the perfect zombie movie, as it has a few surprise twists and a cleverly put together narrative that really tests Gerry to breaking point.

Check out the trailer for World War Z below!

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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