Danny Boyle’s (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) 2002 British zombie horror 28 Days Later is a benchmark in the history of the genre. I remember seeing this for the first time over a decade ago. Even at a young age I noticed how it stood out from the other schlock and set the base standard for what modern zombie-themed productions (like The Walking Dead) are today. It is what I would call Boyle’s most important and impressive film to date. It was released at a pivotal point in The Manster’s life, that’s for sure. Many would consider this, along with the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, to be what made The Manster who he is today!
Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Inception) plays a man who wakes up in on a hospital bed and soon finds himself in the middle of a completely deserted city. Well, maybe not completely deserted. He encounters and is chased by people with a rabid disease before being rescued by two survivors. For there on out the group tries to scavenge their way through the streets of London, hoping there to be some kind of end to the madness.
The film was shot with DV cameras and is very grainy, presenting itself in an intimate and many times beautifully rough manner, especially in the scenes with rain. It gives the film a nice imperfect edge adding to the mood. The zombies are fast and frightening. This was the first time I witnessed zombies that could sprint and back then it was a fresh idea. Nowadays it seems they are faster more often than not. The story is split neatly into three acts, deep but not convoluted. The characters feel authentic and react realistically to situations. There are a handful of different endings (included on the DVD) but I can assure you the one they chose for the official release fits right with the overall theme. That is, in the face of certain pain, death, failure, etc., never give up and never stop fighting.
5 “THEY’RE NOT ZOMBIES, THEY’RE INFECTED!!”s out of 5