28 Days Later… (2002)

28 Days Later… (2002)
  • Time: 113 min
  • Genre: Horror
  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Christopher Eccleston


In a top secret British lab, peace activists release a monkey infected with a highly powerful and contagious test virus, despite the begging of the scientist in charge of operations. 28 days later, the infection has gone from one monkey to the majority of the UK, the host of the virus is lost in a murderous state, losing all logic and instinct. Jim, a courier, wakes up from his coma in an empty hospital, to find that the streets have been heavily littered and are empty. His fear began when he saw no one. His terror erupted when he realized he wasn’t alone.

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  • For a filmmaker who has tried his hand in as many genres as he could, 28 Days Later is still a departure for Danny Boyle, the British director of acclaimed films such as Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Trainspotting (1996).

    In a long line of zombie films, 28 Days Later is nowhere near the crème de la crème; neither is it altogether a forgettable motion picture. Yet it is a distinctive effort by Boyle whose unique filmmaking style is there for fans to savor.

    28 Days Later depicts the aftermath of a deadly epidemic that infects humans through blood, locking them in a permanent state of uncontrolled rage. Survivors are few. One of them, Jim (Cillian Murphy), awakes in a deserted hospital unscathed. He meets a few uninfected people, who then band together in a desperate attempt to salvage the future of humanity.

    By definition, 28 Days Later is not exactly a zombie flick. Zombies are the living dead. In Boyle’s film, the Infected (as they are called in the movie) are more than alive. They charge at you at lightning speed. This trait allows the filmmakers to fashion a film that is more thrilling than horrifying. Boyle ignores the use of ‘jump scenes’, thus those anticipating ‘Boo!’ moments will be disappointed.

    Instead, for every attack by an Infected on the protagonists, Boyle edits the film in such a way that viewers will for a couple of seconds have a quick glimpse of the Infected dashing towards the victim before the actual attack. This technique gives viewers a huge rush of suspense and a legitimate reason to scream at the protagonists in a futile bid to warn them.

    28 Days Later is shot in Britain. As we follow the pursuits of Jim and co. as they head toward a military base a.k.a The Answer To Infection in a stolen classic black London cab, Boyle (and his cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle) takes the opportunity to photograph the country’s beautiful landscape in extravagant hues of colors. This when juxtaposed with the lonely existence of the protagonists gives a very strange everything-looks-normal-but-it-feels-unsettling atmosphere to the film.

    As for almost every Boyle picture, the music used is nothing but special. He has a natural gift of marrying sight and sound together in an almost dizzying fashion. 28 Days Later is strong entertainment packaged in an offbeat style; a fresh alternative even though it is derivative. It has an optimistic ending which sadly softens the climactic payoff when a bleaker one could have left a more resonant impact.

    GRADE: B (7.5/10 or 3.5 stars)
    More reviews: http://www.filmnomenon2.blogspot.sg/

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