15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
British Horror Gem,
This review is from: 28 Days Later (2002) [DVD] (DVD)
Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, The Beach) delivers a magnificent british horror film almost on a par with George A Romero's Living Dead trilogy.
I've read mixed reviews about 28 Days Later but I personally believe it is a remarkable film. Motorcycle courier Cillian Murphy wakes up from a coma in a deserted London hospital and makes his way outside into a deserted London. He soon discovers that the whole country has been devastated by a deadly virus after animal rights activists released a 'rage' infected laboratory monkey. Mass evacuations have been ordered and the desolate, grey, London cityscape is suddenly very frightening indeed, especially when it is crawling with infected crazed zombies. After a nasty encounter with said zombies, our hero meets more survivors and together they decide to head for an army stronghold in Manchester.
28 Days Later is a genuinely scary film and not just because of the shocking, brutal zombie attacks. The scariest thing is the unsettling deserted streets and missing posters on every wall. The sheer apocalyptic loneliness of the end of the world. We don't know the scale of the outbreak, is it just London, the whole of Great Britain or the whole world? Imagine waking up after over a month in a coma and facing this terror. 28 Days Later is also incredibly poignant. The scene where Murphy returns home to find his dead parents in bed together, clutching empty bottles of sleeping pills and a picture of him is incredibly sad and genuinely upsetting. Boyle doesn't let us dwell on the moment too long as we are quickley reminded of the horror with a vicious zombie attack. The zombies are crazed, sprinting killers not shuffling slow corpses and the encounters with them are terrifying. The scene where the car gets a flat in a tunnel had me on the edge of my seat as I waited for the inevitable onslaught. Another scary thing about the film is how quickly the soldiers become a law unto themselves when they were supposed to be protecting our heroes. The threat of sexual assault and violence is just as bad as the threat of the infected so the survivors decide to escape from the stronghold and head even further North in hope of refuge.
The film is bleak and nihilistic and the ending offers no real answers. I think the film is particularly relevant in these days of terrorist threat from biological weapons. Imagine waking up to find a biological weapon had been detonated and everyone was either dead or had been evacuated.....chilling thought.
Like this? Try: Dawn of the Dead