Though he may never have made a zombie movie (much to our chagrin), Alfred Hitchcock is undeniably a pioneering master of modern horror in film. Reflecting on what causes people to feel the familiar chill of fear right down to their very bones, Hitchcock observed:
“There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”
And isn’t this insight speaks to the true essence of zombie?
Zombies are the embodiment of a gnawing, constant awareness of the inevitability of death. They never stop. They never plot, or scheme. They can’t be bargained with, or shown sense in reason. They have no meaning, no choice, not even a recognition of the existence of choice. They’re simply forever shambling your way, trying to get just close enough to claw, to grasp, to chew.
Zombies are the anticipation of a gruesome end met at the hands of an as-yet unseen ghoul, who even now may be clambering towards your door. What’s more terrifying than that?