Much like the vampire, the zombie is a long-lived trope of the horror genre whose subtext has mutated alongside the contemporary fears of the audience. So what do current zombie movies and games say about our modern metaphysical boogie-men?
The Horror genre is a profoundly parasitical creature. Not only is it endlessly adaptable to cultural changes, but it also has a rare capacity to track sources of social anxiety and attach itself to them, mining our deepest fears and presenting them back to us in the shape of art – a cathartic form of art that helps us to overcome our fears by making us confront them in safe environments such as cinemas and comfy chairs [Cinemas are a safe environment? Not in this town, man. – Ed.]. Indeed, Joss Whedon owes much of his fame and following to the fact that Buffy the Vampire Slayer helped millions of TV viewers to overcome the traumas born of attending high school – traumas transformed by Whedon and his staff of writers into monsters physical enough to be defeated week in and week out by a small blonde woman and a gang of geeky side-kicks. Continue reading Fear of a Transhuman Future – Zombies and Resident Evil