Now that the horror genre has been entirely mainstream for several years now, the zombie trope is slowly being eclipsed by the vampires of True Blood, Twilight, etc.
An essential starting point for understanding the zombie genre is this piece by the master of the video essay, Matt Zoller Seitz.
Sam Leith’s excellent article for Prospect productively relates the zombie figure to the vampire by way of the class implications both tropes represent: “Vampires are monsters of the right; zombies are monsters of the left.”
Meanwhile, vampire expert Nina Auerbach chimes in on why the despicable Twilight phenomenon is giving us the vampires we deserve: “As always, our vampires are ourselves. In a generation where blood is tainted, history has shrunk to a search engine, and the future is a shrinking planet, flattened vampires are the vampires who belong.”