As terrifying as zombies can be, they tend to be incredibly predictable. Even the biggest horror haters know how zombies operate: they walk slow, they infect other people, and they always scream out for “braaaains.” Those qualities, along with plenty of others, are part of the unspoken rules for zombies, a set of invisible bullet points that most horror tends to follow.
Of course, the fact that zombies are predictable is part of what makes them so terrifying. Sure, we all understand how zombies work, but the fact that the slow, unstoppable horde can still conquer you is somehow more terrifying. The rules in place for zombies are representative of a slow, drawn out, and anguish-inducing death. Yeah, that’s scary stuff.
Of course, many modern zombie films flip the script and present an entirely separate set of zombie rules. Fast zombies are nothing new anymore, and there are even smart zombies if you look in the right places. Still, it’s not likely that the general idea of zombies will ever truly change, and that’s just evidence of how strongly ingrained into the public consciousness the traditional zombie rules truly are.