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.
But zombies are terrifying simply because they symbolize a very real threat: the fear of contagion leading to the complete collapse of society, which, in an era of superbugs, probably won't be confined to horror movies or "The Stand" much longer.
Today’s zombies — who are usually infected in the thousands — represent our more contemporary fear of contagion, uncontrolled medical technology and civil collapse, according to Kelly Doyle, a PhD candidate studying horror in contemporary film at UBC.
But others say that vampires are far more terrifying—they've just been sanitized in popular culture. "Twilight" and "True Blood" gave us sexy vampires who just wanted to befriend and bone humans (while maybe occasionally sipping some blood). "Salem's Lot"? TERRIFYING. "The Lost Boys"? Scary AF! Vampire fans say the wussy vampires of HBO and teen fiction do not represent true bloodsuckers.