I've got a few creepy ideas to add. How about a strange disease spread by bioterrorists that causes a person afflicted to begin decaying and decomposing, WHILE THEY'RE still alive! It can an interesting take on the zombie genre, as it focuses on their physical and mental states going straight to hell before ultimately dying a horrible death.
Or perhaps a quiet, mild-mannered man who is bullied and abused by co-workers at his job at he seems to just sit there and take it unaffected until one day he goes on a killing spree because he reaches his breaking point and no longer values life. He lives alone in his apartment and has very little contact with anyone, rarely speaking, only biding his time until all hell breaks loose.
A STRANGE DISEASE SPREAD BY BIOTERRORIST... they have it (Antrax variations, etc.) or should I say that the major powers have it (even the USA). A twist on this would be to have the good guys (USA) supply a surreptitious enemy power, a fake enemy clad in ISIS identity for instance, with bio weapons to attack the USA to provoke an incident, (to give the hawks and brain-dead hard-ons reasons and the meat for war). The developing story line would be our do-gooder WASP protagonists get a wiff of this plot and then see how far up the command chain it goes to reveals the bad guys or gals. (And of course the twist on the twist would be to have them wiffing away in misinformation supplied by the good-badguys (lol), which only helps the originators of our devious plot achieve their complex goals of provocation).
Zika virus apparently causes Gullain-Burrie Syndrome... also called GBS. GBS is one of the nastiest disease humans can get. I know, as I have a variation of it. GBS will kill a human in about three weeks if not treated with IgG or ?. First, numbness happens at the distant place on the limbs, it then moves up the body taking down muscles system after muscle system until it weakens the phrenic nerves that controls breathing. Then you stop breathing... and all the while you're aware of your rapid destruction. In my case, I'm aware of a very slow destruction of systems and I fight it 100% everyday! I have 30 years left, lol. But you'll never know nerve pain, like I know nerve pain. Isn't that a song?
Let's face it... Zombies represent all those old people who are sick and dying before our very eyes, whose weakened and frail bodies hobbling the super market isles in a daze, smelling of flatulence and decay.
The Zombie genre fear factor is predicated upon the a vague notion that all human bodies get old and fail and die... Death- no one fully understands this dreaded reality, nonetheless to the vast majority who are oblivious and under educated it MUST be denied at any cost, as the reproduction imperative usually trumps existential notions and actions. The immature, the stupid, the teen-age mind perpetuates the zombie culture to assuage the realities of life/death that they should have learned if they'd been paying attentions in high school biology.
I'd like to read a horror story where the zombie eats his fill of brains and morphs back into a happy and healthy WASP; a living human being who at first is relived to be human again. And by reanimation, he would reveal (finally!) what the true nature of death is, or should I say 'undead is'.
As death is the ultimate in 'nothingness' I'd think the dead/undead character, returned to our USA human reality, would therefore see the existential nature of being human and therefore commit suicide... But the crux of our fiction story would be that having undergone the death/zombie experience, and then reanimation to humanness, they could never die again no matter what.
Eternal life... always to see the idiocy of human foibles forever, aware of the repetition of earthly horror, disasters, and the mendacity of politicians, the greed of many humans world-wide and the idiocy of over-population where in the human experiment of nature (of God's plan. lol) is consuming itself. Now that is a horror story, a true hell, or a great comedy of errors never to be corrected! A never-ending ground-hogs day is what it would become. Our eternal live forever character would eventually suffer the lassitude and ennui suffered mostly by old and grumpy vampires... which is what many many old people suffer from.
We could also call these types die-hard Trump supporters, as they are apparently brain dead but refuse to die. Nevertheless, perhaps Trumpbies/Zombies have dreams of crazy men with orange hair, who speak of a promise land where everyone becomes an overnight billionaire, taxes are the thing of nightmares and no one falls down into a safety net that was never needed in the first place... dreams................... Perhaps we need kinder and gentler updated Zombie paradigm to keep this genre alive, as Hillery advocates.