I do not like things with zombies in them.
It's not that I don't like the idea of zombies. I do. I think it's both hilarious and terrifying. Prepping for the zombie apocalypse is one the things my roommate and I do best. However, things with zombies in them tend to be decidedly disappointing.
It's partly to do with the worldbuilding and the zombie set-up itself -- anybody with the faintest idea of science and how virus' spread and work can figure out why zombie things wouldn't work, so even though there's a suspense of disbelief, I like it to be at least somewhat scientific in nature as to how it began.
For example, Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules does that with how vampires came into control -- though they always existed, they didn't come into power until a virus began spreading and wiped out most of the human population alla the Black Plague and they turned to the already existing vampires for help. Explain to me that the human population was succumbing to other things first before a virus mutated or just make it a world where zombies had always been a problem. Don't just stick zombies in because you want a zombie story.
But the reason I can't stand zombie stories is just that the characters are normally so gosh darned stupid.
I liked ZOMBIELAND and I liked Susanne Winnacker's The Other Life because the characters weren't so stupid (and the world building was pretty good). But most other zombie things I just can't handle. Something is trying to kill you? You kill it! Oh, it's somebody you used to know? They're fucking dead; save your own life -- they wouldn't want you to become a zombie.
In most of the stories I read and the movies I've seen, the characters just don't use their brains. Ever. And it makes it really frustrating for somebody who puts a heavy emphasis on, you know, common sense in strange situations. They might not have a super awesome guide on how to survive the zombie apocalypse, but unlike the zombies, they do have their brains -- don't you think they ought to use them?
Maybe it's just me being jaded about characters panicking or being 'overly-human' in times where nobody is or whatever symbolism the creator is going for. But for the sake of what little is left of humanity, use common sense!
What do you think? Could zombie stories use characters with a bit more brains?