Friday, 20th October 2017. 3:49:58pm ET
Reviews Movie Reviews 28 Days Later

 


Movie: 28 Days Later
Company: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 11/21/03

Combining the laboratory-developed zombie-creating disease premise of Resident Evil with elements of Romero's Living Dead Trilogy (most notably Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead), 28 Days Later is a zombie film that combines independent film sensibilities with stylish directing and beautiful cinematography to create a modern horror classic. 28 days after a catastrophic disease is unleashed on the English population, Jim, a bike courier who was in an accident and unconscious for the whole incident, awakes in a hospital to an almost surreal world. Newspapers and souvenirs are strewn across the deserted streets. Radio and television broadcasts have ceased. The entire world seems lifeless...until Jim runs across "the infected" and teams up with a few survivors of the outbreak.

Shot mostly on DV and directed by Trainspotting director Danny Boyle, the film's visuals are often breathtaking. The barren, empty world that Jim wakes up to truly has a haunting and desolate vibe. A lot of post-production work was obviously done on the film (editing out cars, lights, flashing billboards), yet everything looks remarkably organic and untouched. From the surreal atmosphere of the abandoned cities to beautiful sprawling rural landscapes, the settings are incredible and the camerawork is immaculate. The soundtrack is also quite notable and adds to the film's independent vibe and bleak, isolated atmosphere. Made up of largely of instrumental, moody lo-fi indie rock and provocative orchestral material, the music adds greatly to the emotional content of the film as well as adding the right amount of intensity without becoming overpowering.

Certain elements of the film set it apart from other zombie movies. The "infected" here are not your typical stumbling movie zombies, but rather vicious creatures with full capacity for movement that violently attack anyone who's not infected and try to spread the disease by biting them and/or spitting up blood on them. The fact that the enemies here are a bit more formidable adds to the tension and intensity of the film. Also adding a sense of intensity is the fact that, unlike most zombie movies (where a person gets bit and takes hours to turn into a zombie), a simple drop of blood in the eye or mouth here can instantly infect a person and turn them into a violent creature within a matter of seconds. Therefore, when a person becomes infected, those around him or her have about 10 seconds to kill their friend or run away. It truly adds some immediacy to the situation and avoids the drawn-out "kill me, I don't want to turn into one of those things" cliché.

The film, like Romero's "dead" trilogy, makes a successful attempt at social commentary and examining elements of human nature. Fairly moderately paced with zombie attacks few and far between, much of the film is spent developing the personal interactions between the characters as well as their own emotional and moral conflicts when placed into a kill-or-be-killed situation. The events toward the film's end (I don't want to spoil anything) dive even further into issues of moral ambiguity and the egocentric nature of right and wrong. Overall, the film's strong character development and ability to make you think add a strong intellectual element and increase its ability to immerse you in the story and world of its characters.

As for bonus material on the DVD, there's a commentary track as well as numerous outtakes, including 3 alternate endings. One of the alternate endings is the one shown after the credits during the film's second theatrical run in the US. The second is a roughly edited alternate version of the film's normal ending. The third is a radically alternate ending that would have completely replaced the last half of the movie. However, it was never filmed, and is therefore brought to life through storyboards and narration. The outtakes are mostly low quality, some without sound, some with poor picture quality, some being rough edits. Some provide a few extra bits of information, but they aren't all that special and are definitely scenes that were better left on the cutting room floor.

Overall, 28 Days Later is one of the best horror films I've seen in the last 5 or 10 years. While it is somewhat slow-paced, doesn't have a lot of action compared to other recent horror films, and is a bit derivative (with some elements and scenes seemingly taken directly from Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead), it's definitely a movie that will thrill horror fans that look for atmosphere or prefer their horror films to have more of an arthouse vibe. This is definitely one that true horror fans will want to have in their collections.


Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement

Radio Grave Concerns Ezine

Listen now!
Banner
Banner
Advertisement

Keep GC strong !

Maintaining Grave Concerns Ezine takes time and money.
To help, you can donate one time:

Or, help with a monthly gift:


Grave Concerns Ezine Grave Concerns Ezine

Who's Online

We have 138 guests online

Podcast

Podcast Feed

Free Downloads

Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement