Zombie mania may have slightly died down, but it's still a reliable way to get people to tune into your series. The Walking Dead is still one of the most popular shows in television history, and now Hulu is getting into the genre with Freakish, an acquisition from Awesomeness TV. But, is the disease on Freakish real? Thankfully, viewers don't have to worry about a real pandemic wiping out half the planet — as of yet, there's no real zombie plague that you have to stress about. On Freakish, the teenage protagonists aren't quite sure what's happening, but it seems clear to those who have ever watched a series or movie about a virus that quickly turns their suburban classmates and neighbors into the undead.
There's twists that will certainly make Freakish's version of the zombie story unique, but it's likely that it's being inspired by a lot of classics of the genre. If you're a zombie neophyte, now's the time to catch up with everything you've missed — over the last 40-plus years, the fear of the dead has become a well-worn idea, and there's tons of examples out there of other zombie apocalypses that Freakish could be inspired by.
The Walking Dead
It's a super popular show, as I mentioned above, and it's mastered the art of cliffhangers that are infuriating but keep its audience invested. The cast of Freakish is even borrowing Chad L. Coleman from the show.
Dawn Of The Dead
George Romero's Night of the Living Dead is the originator of most zombie tropes, but Dawn of the Dead, about a group of survivors hanging out in a shopping mall as chaos reigns around them feels like a more specific precursor to Freakish's premise of having all of the teens hiding together.
Shaun Of The Dead
As a modern classic, this film may have been the first experience some of Freakish's audience had with classic zombie tropes. It deconstructs those cliches as much as it takes advantage of them.
28 Days Later
People getting infected with a zombie virus that makes them race around London jacked up the tension, fear, and opportunity for jump scares in this film compared to the traditional slow-moving zombie flicks.
I Am Legend
The film adaptation from this short story may not have technically introduced the idea of the super-quick zombie, but it worked well and was a focal point of the story, and might be an inspiration for Freakish.
This series demonstrates how to do a zombie series week to week with a low budget and make sure your story is always moving forward. First of all, zombie fans should check out the SyFy show in addition to Freakish, and hopefully the new series takes some practical wisdom from the series.
Images: Hulu; Giphy (6)