Zombies In Film and Culture
Psychological and Sociological Explanations Behind A Survivor’s Compulsive Need to Escape Their Surroundings
The door slams shut as you force your weight against it. Two people whom you have never met before, merely joined during your sprint, grab the largest object in the room and wedge it in front of the door. A second later the fist of the undead outside pound on the door in attempts to get in. “We have to get out of here!” one of the others screams immediately. But why? It seems that whether it be a decrepit cabin in the woods or a home or a mall; nothing seems to be good enough for the survivors. Step one of a survival plan always seems to start with the word Escape. A casual movie buff may simply see a character’s reaction as an irrational snap decision, however, through a psychological and sociological examination, one can come to better understand of character’s pleas.
One cannot assume that the character just wishes to put distance between themselves and their attackers; especially not during a zombie apocalypse. Lets take a look at George A. Romeo’s 2004 Dawn of the Dead for a moment. The mall was well defended, surely had adequate food, and they were completely surrounded. Why attempt an escape to somewhere that was referred to as “…an island that for all we know doesn’t even exist.”?
The viewer must examine sever different aspect of the scenario that the characters are being put into. The environment itself is a large factor in the equation; also to be considered is the group dynamics and stresses that are arising. Finally, and perhaps more importantly, the risks. All of these factors of the situation in which the characters are placed can alone, or collectively, cause a people in any shelter to decide to leave.
Potentially the largest determining element of any long termed survival could be the environmental aspect. Setting aside the obvious...