The RE films are just action schlock, this was something much better.
The scene with Lennie James staring down his wife through the scope and the deputy walking through the park looking for the dead woman was great. It added a powerful depth of emotion you don't see in zombie flicks that often.
Usually the zombies are just treated as a mass of human-shaped targets with people only having a flicker of remorse for about five seconds and then they are on to the next bullet sponge.
"I love you ... zombie wife. "
"Okay I feel better now. Everyone, let's get moving!"
"Did you see that? That dude's head exploded like a melon! Woo hoo!"
Zombieland effectively just put a final stamp on that type of superficial zombie flick. Unless future movies are a knowing pastiche in the same way then they are just going to look silly for all the wrong reasons.
I actually felt sympathy for some of the dead in this show so I hope the show keeps that dramatic level throughout the series and doesn't just turn them into cheap monsters-in-the-closet.
edit: this wasn't as gory as I had imagined, but shooting a kid in the opening scene was a gutsy way to begin.