Skip to content

28 Days

28 Days Later

28 dAYS…
–2002, Danny Boyle

So I went to see the very hyped 28 Days Later… and found a movie theater full of people who couldn’t shut up long enough to let suspense build. That was my first attempt at seeing this movie. The second attempt was much better, but I think I might have liked the movie better had I been able to see it for the first time uninterrupted.

That said, it’s a good movie. It’s not as much of a slasher-gore-zombie horror flick as the hype makes it sound. It’s more zombie-horror as archetypal journey. The hero, Jim, (Cillian Murphy, who I must say is lovely) wakes up in a hospital from a coma, to find that London is empty, except for a few people who eat others, and a very few who have not yet been “infected.” We never find out exactly what the infection is, so we are left very much in the same position as the characters: all they know is to fear it.
Jim finds Selena (Naomie Harris), Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and his daughter Hannah, (Megan Burns), and the bulk of the film is about their journey to find answers.

The answers don’t really come, and neither does the gore that I kept expecting from the hype. Shot mostly in digital video, with available light, the “infected” attack at high speed, and are usually killed or kill very quickly, to get back to the story. The use of digital video adds to the apocalyptic feel of the film, like one has stumbled across a security camera’s videotape of what happened in London. The true villains of the story turn out not to be the “infected,” but some military men who haven’t seen women in far too long, and Jim must descend into the darkness (battling both “infected” and the army officers) to save his friends. Maybe what the hype-mongers mean by “reinvents zombie horror,” is that the movie makes clear that what the real problem is, as one character says, “People killing people, much as I saw before infection,” and that the good guys and bad guys are never clear, not even when they’re infected with a disease that makes them attack and eat each other.

Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris are great, and there is some beautiful photography and visual symbolism as well. If you’re looking to see a good dramatic movie that makes you jump a few times, you’ll enjoy this one. If you want to see blood and guts and lots of zombies eating brains, well, I hear Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses is going to be on video soon…


Sign up to our newsletter and get updates to your mailbox