12. Shaun of the Dead
directed by Edgar Wright
The first of Edgar Wright’s “Coronetto Triology,” Shaun of the Dead introduced American audiences to three bright comedic minds — Simon Pegg and Nick Frost along with Wright. Well ahead of the zombie craze (perhaps having a slight impact on creating it), Shaun of the Dead rises above your typical horror spoof by nailing both ends of the spectrum. It not only is a satisfying horror film, it is ridiculously funny. The best part of the film’s humor is that it takes the zombie threat to be incredibly serious — the film takes particular care that you know any of the ragtag protagonists could become zombie meat at any moment. That doesn’t mean they won’t use the zombies for laughs, such as in the great beatdown scene scored to “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Pegg and Frost establish their on-screen personas as lovable losers who are able to rise to the occasion under the terrifying circumstances. Because of the satisfying character building through Shaun of the Dead, following films are able to comment on these personas in surprising and hilarious ways. The trio has already made themselves into comedic cult icons, with each of their films more anticipated than the last.