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FILM: 28 Days Later
RUN TIME: 113 Minutes
GENRE: Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi
DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle
This review may contain spoilers and critical analysis. Taking both a film and media course has its advantages because I have started to notice all the good and bad aspects of films in detail. I studied this film for my film studies exam in 2012 and I noticed a lot of things. I usually like Danny Boyle films but this film is not one of his best works.
The DVD itself comes in a slipcase that has the eyes of rage on the front. The rage being the virus that spreads throughout the film and the red cover represents the blood that is spilled. It has many special features, but these can be found on disk two. The DVD was released in October 2003 and its intellectuality reflects that year. The film uses a deserted London which can disorientate the audience because it does not reflect the London we know. The Rage virus alludes to the Rage in society and the Infected also alludes to foot and mouth disease. The fact this film can contextualize all these aspects already gets this film to a one star rating. The film was produced by Film 4 and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
The genre of 28 Days Later is Horror but it also has elements of Sci-Fi and Thriller. The Sci-Fi is acknowledged through the experiments on the apes at the beginning and the Thriller comes through the anticipation of the Infected and the dark secluded scenes. The most annoying thing I find about this film is that a lot of people confuse the two sub-genres of Horror, zombie-horror and infected-horror. It must be known that this film is an infected-horror and not zombie-horror. There is a distinct difference between the two. This is a fact because infected are created through science and most obviously infection and zombies are the dead brought back to life.
Many scenes are missing but I will not sit here and depict them all. Like many Horror films 28 Days Later starts with a scene of action and gore. Within the opening scene we get all three genre's come to life. This film contains one scene of nudity at the beginning, which is not necessary. Jim, wakes up in hospital alone and naked. I have never fully understood why he is naked on a hospital bed. He had an operation and the surgeons just left him in his recovery room naked. Waking up alone being his worst fear. Soon it escalates as he goes out into the city of London to find that it is empty. Other characters are introduced, some more annoying than others and the plot gets more interesting. The four main characters decide to go to Manchester, another big city of the UK and here they meet the theme of death. They also meet your stereotypical Army and eventually the film escalates to an open ending where Selena is placed in your average stereotypical setting for a woman. For me this film and its plot did not do much for me. I found it dull and entirely boring. The only thing that I really liked about this films plot is the scene half way through where they went shopping and then to the country and we see a scene with a flock of horses. It gives you a sense of ambiguity because it shows you that the world is not entirely dark and infected with rage.
THEME OF FAMILY
There are many themes reflected throughout 28 Days Later but I find the most dominant to be that of family. This adds a nice touch for the film. Jim the main protagonist is forever longing for family. His mission at the beginning of the film is to find his family and at the end of the film he is presented in a family setting, with him as the father, Selena representing the mother figure and Hannah as the child. The theme of family is also introduced with Hannah and Frank. Frank of course being the stereotypical father, but not just to Hannah. He becomes the father figure of the group and treats them all as his equal children. Therefore, becoming the ultimate family that Jim can feel apart of. The Army are also presented as a family as they are a tight knitted group in unity. You could also say that the theme of family is what drives the narrative forwards.
We are first introduced to Jim, who wakes up hospital alone. At the beginning he is pretty much weak and can not defend for himself. He relies on Selena to kill the infected he runs from. Towards the end of the film he becomes the more dominant character in the film as he defends Selena and Hannah against the Army's advances in raping them.
The additional characters I personally find rather annoying. These additional characters consist of Selena, Mark, Hannah and Frank. Selena is represented as your stereotypical tomboy and she is very typical of the horror genre. Her boyish attitude matched with her boyish haircut suits the stereotypical role perfectly. At first her character is flat as she tells Jim she would not hesitate if she had to kill him too, but she gradually becomes rounded. At the beginning of the film she is closed off from the world but towards the end of the film she becomes much more involved and the mother figure to Hannah.
Frank is your typical father figure, but not just to his daughter Hannah but to all characters within the group. His daughter Hannah is the most annoying character in the film. She strives for independence all the way through the film and she doesn't gain it until her fathers tragic death. At the beginning she relies on her father for everything and she shows a small act of female dominance by driving a car. A lot of people admire this aspect, but my view is clouded by her annoyance all together. At the end of the film she defeats Henry major and in doing so her character becomes very rounded as her Character Arc comes to an end. She is no longer weak and has power to her touch.
The Army are the main antagonist of the film. Many think that the infected are the antagonist but this soon changes when the Army are introduced and they become the anti-hero. Out of everyone in the film the Army are my favourite group of character because though their actions are wrong they bring a sense of comedy to an ultimately boring film.
I would not recommend this film to anyone. I will also mention that the reason for me not liking this film is not because I have studied it. I watched it when it was first distributed and I found it boring. I would much sooner watch paint dry. However, it is worth adding to your collection if you are a huge zombie/infected fan.
I like horror films, but normally, due to the unintentional comedy value I find from comically evil blood thirsty psychopaths that just won't die and / or hostile yet oddly hominid aliens coming to enslave mankind all often committing violent and gory acts so ludicrous that the sight of mangled corpses with all their inside bits now on the outside can only make you laugh. Or maybe I'm just desensitized. I personally just find it impossible to be scared of things that will realistically never happen to me (unless perhaps I decide to go on a road trip around remote America without a working phone and a car on the verge of conking out right by some inbred folk with a penchant for rusty objects and chainsaws) which is probably why the majority of horror films relying on blood and guts fail to cause anything but derisive laughter in me. However, proper horror movies are the ones that really disturb you psychologically, by preying on actual fears and these are my favourite types as I love to feel horribly unsettled after a film (you may call me a weirdo) and one of the best films I've seen that has managed to properly unnerve me is Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later (2002). It didn't hurt that it was a British either.
Anyone that has heard of Danny Boyle will know what an exceptional director he is with some amazing films like Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, A Life Less Ordinary, The Beach and Slumdog Millionaire as well as the epic opening ceremony to the London Olympics under his shiny belt and combining forces with then little known writer Alex Garland, who had previously only the screenplay of "The Beach" to his name, was a risk that more than paid off as their collaboration produced one of the most enjoyably disturbing films I'd seen for a long time, which has still yet to really be surpassed. Basically, some meddlesome animal rights activists attempt to free some sad looking monkeys from a British laboratory only for these monkeys have been infected with a "rage" virus and it all it takes is one bite from a monkey and one of the activists is infected. Then the rest of the activists. Then pretty much...well everyone. Come 28 days later and Britain has been overwhelmed by infected people with no other urges but to attack anything that moves and we follow a handful of survivors simply looking for a way to escape from the rage infected populace...but this virus is not the only danger lurking out in a world where the rules no longer apply.
So yes, whilst the plot probably doesn't sound the most original, trust me when I say it is the direction that really makes it stand out and come into its own and will leave you feeling seriously unsettled the whole way through. There is a great art of juxtaposition at work in this movie. Attack scenes are fast and furious and usually come out of nowhere to make you jump by disrupting the haunting quiet and calm scenes that lulled you into a false sense of security thus heightening everything rather spectacularly. Some of the most disturbing scenes actually come from the absence of activity, notably near the beginning when our main protagonist Jim, played by Cillian Murphy, has awoken from a coma in hospital and is roaming the completely deserted and desolate streets of London - streets that I myself have strolled down on dozens of occasions and to see them so void of their usual vibrancy is pure brilliance. Some of the other scenes around Britain are amazing too with empty motorways and sweeping green hills which again contrast the peaceful quiet against a chilling sense of lifelessness. Jim's reactions are palpable as he begins to piece together scraps of what happened from newspapers and graffiti - "Repent! The end is extremely f**king nigh" - and this among many other similar scenes have a rather poignant effect and leave you with ice in your veins at how chilling a prospect this future would be.
At first the film cleverly keeps the full extent of the outbreak a secret and the initial appearance of the infected comes as quite a shock and immediately sets you on edge from which I'm not sure you ever really recover. The poor infected souls cut disturbing figures with blood red eyes, violent jerking movements, the constant spewing forth of poisoned blood, language replaced by terrifying screeching and an unquenchable thirst for violence. For anyone that thinks this is a zombie movie in disguise I'd disagree - the infected are still just about recognisable as humans but simply with every single instinct and urge overwhelmed by rage and so there is a higher level of intelligence to be found than with zombies although the end result is pretty much the same as with most zombie apocalypses. Whilst transformation into the undead is slow for zombies here it is supremely quick and very nasty with the rage virus taking about 20 seconds to take hold and so once an infection occurs things tend to escalate alarmingly making for some pretty nerve-wracking scenes, something this film certainly doesn't lack from.
The human element to this movie, however, is what really drives it forward. It would be a shallow movie indeed if it simply focused on the rage attacks, but this movie really tries to explore human nature at its best and worst during such an unprecedented crisis where order has turned to blind chaos with no policing intervention through the way man can become their own worst enemy when faced with self-preservation. Again, there is nothing new to this concept, many a book or film has broached this idea, but this film does it brilliantly for me, namely by a series of great plot twists and picking such a great cast of mostly unknowns at the time. Cillian Murphy as Jim (now of much acclaim) is superb, his being the hardest journey out of all as he has to face the harshness of his new reality with no warning and he portrays an array of emotions brilliantly. Naomi Harris (now of Miss Moneypenny fame), takes on the role of survivor Selena with aplomb as she is feisty, strong, with a hard outer shell, but unravels with some moving vulnerability which makes them both so likeable that their fate becomes of great importance unlike a few other throwaway characters.
Including a father and daughter combo into the survivor dynamics, Brendan Gleeson as Frank and Megan Burns as Hannah, is an inspired move as you get to see the powerful emotion of unconditional love and how far a father will go to protect his daughter from the horrors of the world even to the point where joyful moments can be found which is quite touching and helps remind us that simple survival isn't enough, although I wasn't entirely convinced by the acting of Hannah who sometimes felt a bit off-kilter yet other times some of her scenes were the most affecting. There are a few other recognisable faces, namely Christopher Eccleston, who showcases the darker side of humanity in a suitably disconcerting way and with this extra layer of human interaction thrown in to a genuinely scary reality of rampant deranged killers what we end up with is a truly horrifying film for many different reasons, balancing what humans are capable of with the viral outbreak side of things. One other major factor is the chilling instrumental soundtrack scored by John Murphy which assisted greatly in building up and maintaining the terror of the more dramatic scenes - most people have probably heard one of his compositions "In the House - In a Heartbeat" which is now synonymous with this film and the atmosphere created through his scoring is one of unsettling disquiet moving to explosions of fear which suits this film perfectly.
All in all, this is a fantastic horror movie which has genuinely scary moments which were amplified in a cinema setting but will still get you at home in your darkened living room especially with surround sound. There is some use of gore and violence and as a result this film has an 18 certificate rightfully so, but it never feels gratuitous or for shock value alone, although the scares are very real and quite frequent, the gore mainly highlights just how horrific the transformation is from human to rage victim and the violence is all about the dark side of humanity and is all very necessary for the story being told. The real horror comes from building up tension and the bleakness of the circumstances which our protagonists find themselves in playing very much on the psychological human fear that a virus may someday come along and wipe most of us out - for some reason many people do seem to enjoy envisaging a hopeless apocalyptic future in the fiction world. When I first watched this film some 10 years ago I absolutely loved it and for me it still stands the test of time and hasn't lost any of its fear factor - for a British horror film it is first class, in fact, by any horror film standard. As a horror fan if for some reason you haven't seen this film yet I'd recommend doing so immediately.
* Deleted Scenes - there are a collection of seven deleted scenes of about no more than 3 minutes a pop which you can watch with commentary from Danny Boyle and Alex Harland if you want to gain extra insight. Some of these are actually very interesting as they show the different routes the film could have taken on towards the grimmer alternate endings and they are pretty dramatic so well worth a look. Others are cool scenes that were cut purely for compressions reasons and one is rather amusingly panned by Boyle and Harland.
* Alternate Endings - I can't say much about this one as otherwise I'll give away the actual ending, but this is worth a look only to get an idea of what one of the different routes the movie could have taken. You can also view this with commentary on for further insights. I prefer the real ending myself.
* Pure Rage: The Making of 28 Days Later - 25 minutes of a narrated featurette that starts with a scary exploration into the fear of pandemic infectious diseases and what we are facing as a species from the point of view of the cast and crew and actual experts - if you are a hypochondriac I wouldn't recommend watching this. The second half of this is then just further thoughts from the cast on their characters and how the film was shot as well as logistic issues with some of the harder scenes to shoot such as emptying the London streets and the M1. If the film didn't scare you this documentary certainly will. We're all going to die.
* Galleries - the first option is a series of film stills from a production gallery spanning 18 or so minutes featuring fascinating insights from the Danny Boyle discussing logistics and film making decisions triggered by each photo. The second option is 4 minutes of similar discussion but based upon actual polaroids taken during shooting used for continuity purposes to try to avoid goofs which is a neat trick to learn about especially since this technique is now being replaced by digital photos.
* Marketing - there's a whole assortment of marketing trinkets here with a theatrical teaser, trailer, an animated storyboard and the Jacknife Lee music video. The teaser is just a shorter version of the trailer which is aptly creepy and would have been enough to get my bum on my local cinema seat. The animated storyboard is cool as it adds some haunting music to the cartoonish scribblings and covers a lot of lost days from the first day of infection up to the 28th day since when Jim awakens which has an artistic beauty about it. The music video is quite long to sit through for some synthesised music spanning a whole bunch of clips from the movie which pretty much spoil the movie - I probably would give this one a miss.
I recently re-watched this film and decided it might be worth writing a review as I have become a bit of a zombie movie addict!
This film set in the UK is directed by Danny Boyle and tells the story of a man, Jim, who wakes up in hospital, only to find the hospital deserted and the streets of London looking like everyone just up and left one day! Jim finds a newspaper and realises something has gone horribly wrong with the world while he was unconscious! After investigating a church, Jim stumbles across some people who seem to be more rabid animal like then human like and like any good protagonist in a zombie film he learns to run very fast. Jim stumbles across some further survivors and they decide to try and head for a military checkpoint near Manchester....
The acting is fairly good for a slightly cliche horror movie, although there is a little girl in the movie named Hannah, whose voice just grates on me! Otherwise, the film contains the perfect amount of suspense, grotesque scenes and ridiculous decisions made by characters, to make a standard zombie film.
It's worth having a watch, its fairly standard for a zombie film and has a fairly decent follow up movie, 28 weeks later which you may enjoy as well.
I know that a good zombie film is usually rather hard to find. I realise that most are failed attempts at horror and are mostly watched for the gore rather than story. I believe that most horror, especially zombie horror are casted badly and tend never to make it higher than 5 stars on imdb. However, 28 Days Later has something more to offer.
Like all zombie films, a reason for the living dead must be given. In this case, it is an infection that has evolved and spread through monkeys. It begins in an animal testing lab with a group of activists getting ready to let the monkeys out of there cages. However, a scientist bursts in warning them of their condition. When asked what they are infected with, he replies with 'rage'. Now, I'm not going to be criticising this film much at all but when you need to persuade somebody that these are monkeys infected with a disease that will bite you, attack you and has the potential to wipe out the human race, you do not simply reply with 'rage'. Of course then there would be no story so because of this man pathetic attempt at stopping them, they release the monkeys only to have them jump angrily out their cages and start to spread there rage.
Next we meet out main character Jim. Jim has awoken from his coma to discover the empty streets of London. Missing posters are scattered everywhere with newspapers spread about showing the infection on its front cover. When he believes he is all alone, he enters a church to find a priest staggering towards him. The priest being our first zombie. He quickly realised his condition and runs outside being chased by a group of them but is joined by our next main character Selena who fights them off.
We follow him and Selena through the film and watch their struggle to stay alive and find other survivors.
-Why I liked it-
Well first of all it is directed by Danny Boyle who is one of my all time favourite directors. He has directed Slumdog millionaire, 127 hours and many more amazing films. His directing makes the film seem a lot more realistic. It doesn't have that Hollywood style that tends to make it less scary for me which I feel helps you connect with the characters and there situation.
The story is slightly unique. Though there is nothing very out of the ordinary and extremely experimental, it dabbles in how some people might react to the idea of the end of the world. It isn't just a case of finding somewhere safe and surviving like most films. It shows the conflict that may occur between those still living which again I thought made it seem much more realistic.
The casting was fantastic. Cillian Murphy is our main character who I never would have done myself but he played it perfectly. His portrayal of a lost and confused man desperate to keep some humanity in such a changed world was perfectly done. The rest of the cast were mostly unheard of which yet again helped it realistic look. The characters personality was well mixed and all well acted.
This film has got one of my all time favourite soundtracks to it. One song in particular which is played towards the end which is so rare of horror films to have. I certainly can't think of any others which has really made such an affect on me through it music.
-Would I recommend it?-
YES! Even if you're not a big horror fan, this one isn't very scary. I wouldn't watch it with the expectation that it's going the frighten you and keep you up all night as it's not just a horror. However, it definitely a must watch. Put it on your list!
With the evolution of what makes a zombie; we find ourselves in a world that has gripped us by the throat and flung us head first into a pit of ever growing fascination with zombies, thus creating new levels of fear, suspense and down right terrifyingly fast flesh eating creatures that leave you questioning about what you would do in such a break out.
28 days later is one of many zombie films that have once again pushed the evolution of zombies into a classic and a well known topic within the horror fanatics. The whole concept of the zombie has changed over a number of years and isn't just a fabled horror movie idea that some genius came up with many years ago in the first zombie related film "white zombie" oh no, it delves much deeper than that and slithers it's way back centuries beyond the days of the media and have spawned from theories of ancient voodoo practises and beliefs. So there is a huge amount of history behind zombies and how different cultures, critics, writers and film producers perceive them.
This film in particular features the "rage virus" which is developed by scientists and tested on animals - working with the theory that we have created our own fate by messing with things we shouldn't be; which is a common theory behind many of the modern zombie films - a virus or a cure gone wrong from another disease. The rage virus differs slightly to most zombie outbreaks you see in film and television as these zombies are not your typical run of the mill slow, leg dragging zombie mumbling "brains!"; these zombies are full of rage and are limitless in energy which adds to the suspense of the film, especially when you first watch it. Thinking about how screwed you would be in a situation like that heightens the brilliance of this film - the zombies never stop, they won't stop and they always find you, an absolutely terrifying concept.
28 days later is a British film filmed in London and surrounding areas of the UK, featuring classic british black cabs as an escape vehicle, a nice little touch. The city is turned around into absolute chaos, the streets are empty and rubbish and rubble is everywhere; that is until the zombies hear and see their next meal - that's when the chase begins. The acting in this film is of high standard, it genuinely feels like you are witnessing a zombie infested apocalypse and you are on the edge of your seat hoping that they'll survive and you develop this connection with the characters and see their sense of humour and kind nature and therefore it breaks your heart when a number of them become infected.
Suspense doesn't come to a stand still at any point in this film as they are constantly on the run, sometimes coming to a completely close call which is fantastic as it leaves you wanting to watch more. The run in with the military gives you a sense of false hope, I won't spoil it for those who may not have seen it still but I believe that the military's involvement in the film fitted well with how the story line panned out and added more drama.
The title's meaning translates at the end of the film where you are able to understand just exactly why it's called "28 days later" if it isn't obvious to you already. Again i'll keep it zipped in case some of you are still yet to be amazed. Once you have watched 28 days later, you can watch 28 weeks later which is a follow up of the first one with a new cast altogether but shows you the attempts of civilisation trying to rebuild itself.
Whether you are a huge zombie film fan or just exploring the world of zombie films, this film may just be what you are looking for. Zombie films in general can be hit of miss and have to be directed well with a solid storyline. It is safe to say 28 Days Later has a good easy-to-follow storyline that is realistic and engaging.
The acting in the film is brilliant and couldn't fault it - maybe the little girl in the film but she isn't in it for too long! Make-up and costume is outstanding as horror films go. Top of the arts artists were clearly used in this film and the zombies especially are not overdone in the sense that it makes them look fake - they look terrifyingly real!
The directed in the film is excellent too as the narrative flows making it easy to watch. I began to think to myself, 'what would i do in that situation?' and when a film makes me think like this i think the director has done his job. I enjoy watching non-melodramatic films when it comes to the topic of 'zombies' as i feel it ruins the fright if ever this dreadful event would ever happen - that is what makes you sit on the edge of your set (aside from jumpy scenes).
As far as jumpy scenes go they are present throughout the film, as of course all zombie films adopt this, but although it can sometimes be predicted it still makes you jump.
The down side to this film is perhaps if you were wanting something a bit more gory with less of a storyline then maybe this film isn't for you. Also don't watch this film in the daytime as it is mostly filmed at night and during gloomy British weather so you won't see much unless you have a dark room...
Would recommend to a friend - boy and girl.
As Zombie films go, this is a real treat; there has been a huge upstart of this sub genre in recent years and this is one of the very best. It's definitely on par with the best horror films around! Set in a zombie apocalpyse people are forced to fend for there lives from the people infected with rage. However the protagonists soon find out that it's not only the infected that they must be wary of. There are many dangers and they can't let their guard down for a minute in their search for escape from this hell on earth they now live in. Directed by Danny Boyle who has since proved himself as one of the elite directors around at the moment he puts his own spin on the film, not afraid to put an artsy vibe into it, but not too much so it would repel audiences who just want a great zombie film; it is. The costume and make up artists are obviously an integral part of the crew in a film like this and they do very well. The shots can get a bit confusing at times however as Boyle really likes to get into the action, however it is a fantastic piece of cinema and for zombie/horror fans it's a must see.
I personally, love anything involving zombies whether it be movies, games or books, and 28 Days Later has put itself within my Top Ten list of the best zombie movies I have ever seen. I purchased this quite cheap from a charity shop at around £2, and right now it probably only costs a couple of pounds more than this at a local HMV. I wish I had seen this movie in the cinemas now, as it really is a great horror movie, and would have looked great on a big screen.
With the main actor being Cillian Murphy, I hoped he would potrtray his character as well as he did in Batman Begins. He definitely did as his acting really has one of the best points in the movie, as he was able to convey such a wide range of emotions such as terror throughout. The main director is Danny Boyle, and although he is more well known for movies such as Slumdog Millionaire or 127 Hours, this movie is no exception to his great directing skill. Even at the scenes where there is just a slight bit of movement, such as seeing something out of the corner of an eye, he manages to make you feel frightened - as any good zombie movie will do.
Throughout the movie, the plot will always have you on the edge of your seat with tension and worry as, as always, anything can happen within a zombie movie, at one point the survivors could all be happy and the next moment a horde of zombies can come and attack them. Although it doesn't really give you any mystery as to what created the virus, the real reason is a great one, with rage infected monkeys being let loose and attacking nearby scientists.
The storyline focuses around Jim, a courier who wakes up in a coma and is faced with the destruction of his city in front of him due to the virus, with no clue about anything involving the infection. After finding a group of survivors, you see them travel throughout London, desperately trying to stay alive, even though their world has crumbled around them. Filled with different personalities, some you will grow to love, others not so much and will stay wary of them. Throughout you wonder if he will ever survive all of this? Will there ever be a cure? Who will die next?
Filled with violence, this movie is not one for the fainthearted or those who can't stand the sight of blood - as well, this is all zombie movies usually contain. The effects are always well done and the makeup really makes people look like how you would imagine a zombie to be. The way they managed to get the whole of London tranquil and quiet and covered in huge amounts of rubbish and destruction was amazing, as some of the scenes were shot within areas usually busy with people, and they managed to get them to become silent.
However, it is not a movie that primarily focuses on the gore of zombies, as it contains just the right amount of drama to, making it perfectly balanced. The score used throughout really adds to the eery and tense moments throughout the film, always going silent when the scare you out of your seat moments happen, and sticks to the scenes appropriately.
This is a greatly directed movie with actors that really make the characters show the exact terror and fear that you would if faced with a zombie apocalypse. I would recommend it to horror and zombie fanatics alike, and it's a great movie to have within your collection.
As a fan of Zombie horror movies, I had to watch this when it was out. It is a fantastic movie, so naturally when it came out on DVD I bought it. This movie is one I can watch again and again, while not a classic George Romero zombie movie, it is an excellent British zombie movie. I do think some of the British horror movies on classic myths like Zombies, Werewolves etc. can be absolutely brilliant as they encompass our sense of humour and sarcasm that American horror flicks miss as they try to be slapstick funny or just full of gore and suspense.
Story (May contain spoilers)
Some activists fighting against experiments on animals break into a science facility where they are experimenting with violent images on chimps. One of these chimps bites an activist who becomes infected with what is known as "The Rage Virus" which turns anyone infected into a creature that's whole purpose in life is to be violent to the non-infected, essentially a Zombie.
A man, Jim, who was in a coma before all of this happened, wakes up.... 28 Days Later (hence the title). He wakes up in an empty hospital and starts to wonder what happened. He walks out of the hospital into an empty London (London is never empty even at night so this is pretty eerie). During his investigation he unwittingly disturbs a number of Zombies who end up chasing him across London until he is rescued by a couple who have been surviving this nightmare for a while.
While Jim is getting some catch up lessons on what has been happening over the last 28 Days one of the 3 gets caught out, just leaving Jim and Selena in the middle of London trying to survive. They come across a father and daughter and all try to head up to a military base in Manchester, this is when things get worse as the military group no longer getting orders are an all male unit, so when 2 females arrive they stop being protectors, and start thinking of themselves.
Question is who is worse, the Zombies or the Military Unit? Will these survivors escape and be free? Will there be a cure?
At this point these actors had not been in much, or anything as big, and they did an absolutely excellent job. The actors definitely make you believe they are in a world where they are the minority, fighting to survive against.... Well Zombies.
The special effects are good, which they really have to be in a zombie movie. The gore looks believable and scary, which is all anyone could ask for in a zombie movie.
The soundtrack to the movie is pretty good, I have even bought this myself to listen to (I do enjoy OST's). There is a good mix of music that is very representative of the feelings and emotions this movie conveys.
Overall this is a fantastic movie well worth watching, especially if you are a fan of horror or zombie movies. I would certainly recommend it to anyone.
Unlike most 'zombie' or 'epidemic' films, 28 Days Later focuses on a rage virus that afflicts the entire population, and targets one man who wakes up after a traffic accident to find that he's entirely alone in a hospital ward. Outside, the streets of London are completely empty, too, and his first encounter with humans results in being attacked by a mad bloodthirsty group in a church, introducing us to our afflicted characters. In short, this character, Jim (Cillian Murphy) finds himself the only person not affected by this rage virus. We know what has happened thanks to a short intro where scientists are invaded by animal rights activists who want to free monkeys who have been infected with this new rage virus they've been working on. However, Jim is ignorant of this, and it's quite a shock to consider just how you'd try and cope with life if you woke up and found out you were all alone.
This is what Danny Boyle's direction often does - it allows us to put ourselves in the position of the characters and wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes. We do meet other characters not affected by this virus, and at each encounter, suspicion and distrust eventually make way for slight relief before the reality of their situation hits home once more. Boyle paints a desolate picture, with movement restricted at night and travel happening during the day. Our small band of 'survivors' travel north to try and find the source of an army callout announcing a safe haven, but another kick in the tail shows us that safety is all in the eye of the beholder.
Murphy is excellent in this - the majority of his acting is done visually and not verbally, with the haunted look in his eyes and the haggard physical appearance allowing us to descend into a sort of bleakness that emanates from the screen. He is supported well by Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston and Brendan Gleeson among others, and the strong and solid acting coupled with the intense visuals and depressing pace really paint a vivid horror tale. The moments of violence are often jumpy and result in a bit of a shock. There's no warning either. Boyle is careful to make sure that a buildup in tension does not always result in an explosion of sorts on screen, whether it be a jumpy moment or release of character. This keeps you on your toes as a viewer, and this is definitely the sort of film where you find yourself on the edge of your seat with the patience the camera forces you to adopt.
As with his other films, Boyle's use of music is always key. A blend of the known and unknown, older music and current music, makes sure that the mood is always delivered pinpoint, giving the visuals the best chance possible to exact their reactions from what is no doubt a riveted audience. However, this is not going to be a film for everyone. The Resident Evil films, for example, are the sort of films where not a lot is missed if you idly watch while you're doing something else. Classics such as the zombie films in the middle of the 20th Century are quite visual but without the modern scope on special effects, but can also be taken with a smaller dose of attention. 28 Days Later needs you to be paying attention to get the full effects just right, and has that 'cult' air to it. This is aided by Murphy's haggard and withdrawn facial expressions and a lot of the acting is done in this way, and thus the storytelling is as well. Clips such as the fall of a drop of blood, a stolen glance and the slightest movement in the corner of the screen are used to great effect, and if you miss them, then the power of these moments in the film may also be lost.
I loved this film. I found it powerful and provocative, and hit the right notes with me. Horror it is, but in Boyle's inimitable style. Well directed, well acted and a nod to the special effects department which have done the job perfectly. Gets a top rate from me. Recommended.
28 days later was directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) and stars Cillian Murphy and was released in 2003. The film is bristish which is quite unusual but there has been a spate of quality british horror in the past decade.
The plot begins with two animals rights activists opening a cage to free a lab monkey which has been infected by something called 'rage'. A lab technician tries to stop them but they do it anyway. The monkey attacks the activist and turns them into infected, crazed people who attack on sight turning whoever comes into contact with their bodily fluids into rage driven crazies.
The film then fast forwards 28 days which is where we meet Jim (Murphy) who wakes up from a coma in a hospital where he has been since a bike accident. Finding noone in the hospital he goes out into the streets of London to find someone. The empty streets of London really hammer home his isolation and seeking help he goes into a church where he meets his first rage victim a preist. Fleeing the scene Jim is chased bythe invected before an unknown group of people take them out using a petrol station. they tell Jim what has happened and escort Jim to his home where he finds his parents dead. The infected attack the house and infect a one of them who is then killed before turning into one.
From this point in the film they travel to beacon of light and find a father and daughter in an apartment block. Finding no real solutions to the problems at hand they hear a radio broadcast saying that an area near manchestr is safe. Hearing this they go up north only to find that the infected may not be the only thing they have to deal with....
The film is made with style and is a great horror film. Make no mistake this is not a 'zombie' film as these arn't eating people. This is something that is more reralistic as its something man made that has made the people infected with rage but you never learn what it is. In fact in some ways this is what makes it all the more real. This is a charector driven piece and you become emotionally entwined with them. The charectors in this remind me of George Romero's 'of the dead' series, which was an inspiration for the film. Without focusing on the charectors this would be just another horror film.
The horror is is both violent and brutal, but it is not sustained. this makes the short sharp acts of violence feel all the more shocking and real. this is not for the faint of hearted at times.
Its not without fault as there are plenty of plot holes that don't make sense at times such as if they don't eat the people why do they seem to want to bite them?
One one my favourite things about this film is the music. I really like the drving of 'in the house in a heartbeat' and this rousing music score is
expertly use by Boyle for certain parts of the film.
This is easily one of my favourite films and if your a fan of horror then its is a must watch. A human story about surviving by a filmmaker on the top of his game.
28 Days Later is a horror film which came out back in 2002. The film was directed by Danny Boyle and stars Noah Huntley, Brendan Gleeson and Naomi Harris. The film was quite a big success at the box office and won 7 awards and got a further 21 nominations. There was quite a lot of hype around the film and people flocked to see it.
The film is set in London to begin with. A man who has been in a coma wakes up in hospital to find it deserted. He leaves his room and goes to explore, he can't find anyone. He wanders the empty street looking for signs of life but finds nothing. Eventually he finds other people and they tell him what has happened. A deadly virus has swept the world and has killed off 99% of the population.
Not only that, but now there are crazy zombie like people out to hunt the remaining uninfected people down with the deadly virus. Now the survivors must find away to stay alive and put an end to the deadly virus known as rage!
This films starts off brilliantly. Before we are aware of what is going on there is a wonderful mystery surrounding the story. The scenes in a deserted London are really well done and it really does get your interest up. At this point for me it was a five star film. Then it all goes down hill!
The storyline just starts to get very silly. The acting is pretty average and some of the scenes are very violent and gory which id not something I really like. The characters are very one dimensional and just seem like a weird mix of people.
There are a few good moments in the film that are quite tense and do scare you a little but. But most of the film is just very predictable and there are no real surprises.
The film runs for 113 minutes which is probably about right. I think any longer and I would have been bored and looking at my watch! The strong start flys by and then it drags a little after that.
The film is rated as 18. There is quite a bit of strong language, some violence and some gore. Not a film for the faint hearted or those who are easily offended.
The DVD itself has a few extras. A few things like trailers and extra scenes but nothing that would really convince me to rush out and buy a copy!
Overall this is a pretty average film. It starts off so well and then just settles into a film that we have all seen before and lacks any real inspiration. There are no real big name actors in this and I don't think of the actors involved really showed any massive potential. If you like horror movies you probably will enjoy this, but if like me you like a good story line and a clever plot, then maybe you should steer clear of this one!
28 Days Later stars Cillian Murphy as a guy who wakes up in a hospital with nobody around. He ventures out into the streets of London and to his horror, finds London entirely deserted.
Eventually, he finds some people who explain that their main goal at this moment is to survive and they are on the run from anyone who has been infected with the RAGE virus, which sends people into a crazy, blood thirsty state!
28 Days Later is directed by Danny Boyle and he does a good job of showing you an apocalyptic London that has completely grounded to a halt with barely anyone genuinely alive.
The cinematography plays a part in showing you this as the colours are generally washed out and it gives the film a gritty look.
Performances from such actors as Murphy are very good but I was also fond of Brendan Gleeson who plays a London cab driver.
I have seen a lot of actors who generally play themselves but this is a guy who played a grumpy cop in Lake Placid who you never really cared much about but here, you have a lot of sympathy for him and his daughter.
You follow these group of people who trek through the streets of London, grabbing any kind of food and drink they can, seeking shelter and trying to find salvation.
I felt the film went downhill in the climax as it decided to turn a different path and the characters were no longer being scared of the RAGE monsters but about the military who were supposed to be looking after them.
I didn't like this and I wish it stayed on it's original course but I can see the logical aspect of it and I guess the script writers had to find a way to end it somehow.
In my view, this is one of the best British horror films made that makes good use of cinematography, direction, atmosphere and characters to create this nightmare apocalyptic scenario of London....and with blood thirsty humans chasing any survivors as the icing on the cake.
Forget those who say this is a zombie movie, it isn't.
If you like horror films and don't mind seeing what films the British movie industry has to offer, check this one out!
We do create some gems once in a while.
The timeless 2002 movie diected by the great Danny Boyle.
When animal rights activists break into a laboratory to release the animals there they get more than they bargained for as the animals are carrying a deadly virus, when they open the cages of the animals they are responsible for the outbreak of the downfall of the country.
The virus is spread by a mere drop of blood and causes the infected to act in a violent and sadistic way.
The movie really begins after the virus has taken hold of the country and it is now 28 days later.
Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakes from a coma in a London hospital and soon realises all is not well.
No one is there to assist him and when he gets out of bed and makes it into the street he is aware that something has gone badly wrong.
This part will have you screaming at the screen as he ambles through the streets and then into a church full of zombies (has he never seen dawn of the dead).
He soon meets up with two other survivors Selena and Mark (Naomi Harris and Noah Huntley) and insists on trying to get home to see if his parents are still alive.
They soon realise they will have to leave the city to survive and escape the hordes of zombies.
When they see a flashing light up a tower block they realise they are not alone and meet up with taxi driver Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and his daughter Hannah(Megan Burns) who are also ready to flee the city.
Not all the survivors are normal though and Christopher Eccleston is great as the mad Major Henrey West who has taken over a country estate with a band of soldiers and is intent on seeing to it that the human race will not become extinct.
There are plenty of bloody and gruesome scenes in this movie so it is not for the squeemish.
I love this movie the zombies have a realistic effect and you do really get the feeling of total and complete break down of the country.
There is a sequal called 28 weeks later but it is not half as good as this.
Great acting and a brilliant plot, if you havnt seen it then you are missing a timeless classic.
113 minutes of pure terror with an 18 certificate for obvious reasons.
Disclaimer: As with all my movie reviews, this is about the film itself rather than the DVD. I generally dont watch extra features or deleted scenes as they are usually removed for a reason and detract from the film as it was intended.
Key Stars: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Noah Huntley, Christopher Eccleston, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns
28 Days later is a highly acclaimed british horror movie directed by Danny Boyle. The movie covers the breadown of british society when a virus called 'Rage' starts infecting the population. In essence this is a zombie flick, but in reality is far more than a traditional zombie movie.
This is a superb example of what a horror movie should be. It strikes up all kinds of emotions while watching including fear, anxiety and terror, but more important is the feeling of isolation this movie gives right from the start until the finish. The storyline is solid and is very enjoyable to watch for the full 113 minute duration.
There are barely any downsides to this movie, especially for a horror movie fan like myself. I suppose that due to the way that this movie can instill such strong emotions I would probably not recommend it for those of weak disposition.
Overall this is one of my favorite movie of all time and if you havent seen it yet I would highly recommend it. Due to the age of the movie you can pick it up for a very low price at most places it is sold, which is a bonus!
A powerful virus escapes from a British research facility. Transmitted in a drop of blood and devastating within seconds, the virus locks those infected into a permanent state of murderous rage. Within 28 days the country is overwhelmed and a handful of survivors begin their attempts to salvage a future, little realising that the deadly virus is not the only thing that threatens them. An apocalytic thriller with healthy doses of paranoia and horror.