There’s more to the horror genre than just ghosts and ghouls. Here are seven horror movies full of action to add to your watchlist.
The horror genre isn’t just haunted houses, jump-scares, and exorcisms. While those are all great elements that are the focal point of many a hit horror movie, some entries in the horror catalog lean on other genres — like action — to make a well-rounded scary movie. From fighting zombies to barely escaping danger, there are a lot of horror-action movie hybrids out there. On paper, it may sound like an odd match-up, but the horror and action combo works out really well. Think about shows like The Walking Dead, which successfully combined horror, action, and drama to make a massively successful series. If you’re a horror fan looking for a more action-packed movie, or an action fan looking for a good scare, these are six great horror-action movies to add to your watchlist.
When you think action and horror, Resident Evil is likely one of the first movies to come to mind. The franchise is based on a Japanese video game known as Biohazard and has spawned seven movies. The movies generally follow Alice (Milla Jovovich) and a team of fighters as they attempt to contain the outbreak of the T-virus — essentially a zombie virus — unleashed by an underground lab owned by a powerful corporation. Resident Evil is really just your standard zombie movie franchise complete with loads of gun-shooting action. The franchise has seen genrally decent reviews across its run and at one point held the records for highest-grossing film series based on a video game and highest-grossing zombie film series. Plus, if you really enjoy the movies you can also play your way through the video game series.
From Dusk Till Dawn premiered in 1996 and was written by and stars Quentin Tarantino, along with George Clooney, Salma Hayek, Juliette Lewis, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo and Harvey Keitel. The movie follows two criminal brothers (Tarantino, Clooney) as they take a family hostage in order to cross the border into Mexico. But once they arrive in Mexico, they find themselves at a saloon frequented by viscious vampires. If violence isn't your thing, Fron Dusk Till Dawn might not be the action/horror movie for you. But if you can look past the movie's violent nature and remain unbothered, you'll enjoy this cult film. Following the original movie, there were two sequels — Texas Blood Money and The Hangman's Daughter — a video game and a TV series.
Shaun of the Dead has a little bit of everthing. There's horror and action, comedy and even a little romance, making for a fun, well-rounded watch. The movie follows Shaun (Simon Pegg), a salesman in London, living a rather dull life, living with his best friend Ed (Nick Frost). But then Shaun's life takes a turn when a zombie apocalypse breaks out in London and he and Ed set out to rescue Shaun's mom and ex-girlfriend while fighting off zombified locals along the way. Shaun of the Dead is a good example of a well-made horror/comedy movie because it has a strong storyline and tons of zombie fighting action and survival, but it's also genuinely funny. Shaun of the Dead is the first installment in the Three Flavours Cornetto anthology series — a trilogy of movies written by both Pegg and Edgar Wright. It was followed up by Hot Fuzz in 2007 and The World's End in 2013.
Premiering in 2018, Overlord is a horror/action movie with a history undertone as it takes place the day before D-Day. It follows a group of American soldiers that drop behind enemy lines and discover a Nazi-occupied village and an underground lab where they're doing experiments that turn people into zombies. It's a very gory, action-packed movie and is honestly pretty underrated. It also does a good job of blending genres and the movie itself is well made in terms of cinematography and the cast's performances. If you're a fan of war movies and like your horror with a side of history, Overlord would be a great addition to your watchlist.
There is no shortage of zombie movies out there. From zombie movies with romantic elements like Warm Bodies to the pure horror of movies like Dawn of the Dead. Then there's the zombie comedy genre with movies like Zombieland. The movie follows a nerdy college kid (Jesse Eisenberg) as he tries to survive in a post-apocalyptic world following a zombie apocalypse. Along the way, he meets three strangers (Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin) who are also trying to survive. Together, the group treks across the southwestern U.S., hunting for a zombie-free sanctuary. It's a funny movie with a great cast and is full of tons of quotable moments. It has all the standard elements of any zombie survival movie, but is genuinely funny and entertaining to watch. Zombieland originally premiered in 2009 and was followed up with the sequel Zombieland: Double Tap in 2019, essentially following the same storyline as the first movie.
Ready or Not is a unique dark humor/horror movie that follows the newly married Grace (Samara Weaving) who gets hunted by her new husband's Satan-worshipping family as part of his family's wedding night ritual. It starts off as seeming like a harmless game night where the family is going to play a game of hide and seek. But then things take a sinister turn when the family arms themselves with weapons and set out to kill Grace before the night is over. Ready or Not is an original thriller that holds your attention from start to finish. It's also pretty funny, too. It's simply another one of the movies with a little bit of everything making it a perfect choice for movie night.
Train to Busan is a very unique entry in the zombie movie genre. It primarily takes place on a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan as a zombie apocalypse breaks out. This movie is a masterful must-watch. It's extremely well-paced, well-written, full of interesting characters, loads of action and tension, and is a very original take on the typical zombie movie we're all so familiar with. Train to Busan received overwhelmingly positive reviews and comes highly recommended to anyone, whether you're a horror fan or not. Several critics and other professionals in the film industry have called Train to Busan the best zombie movie they've ever seen, and after giving it a watch, it's pretty clear why.
Maria is a freelance writer and editor who operates her own freelance business, Total Type LLC. Maria enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but has always had an avid love for pop culture.