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28 Days Later

**mild abstract spoiler ahead**

My feelings about this movie may very well be extended towards Boyle’s movies in general : solid direction overall, but events did not fail to go from situational and behavioral realism to sudden heroical action nonsense.
It started off as rioting. But right from the beginning you knew this was different…

28 Days Later is directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland. It stars Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Megan Burns, Brendan Gleeson and Christopher Ecclestone. Music is by John Murphy and cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle.

When animal liberation activists break into the Cambridge Primate Research Center, they come across a scientist who tells them that to release these chimps would be insane. They have been injected with a test serum known as “Rage”, and it’s highly contagious and spreads easily and quickly. Ignoring the warnings, one of the activists opens a cage and is attacked and bitten by a chimp and rage quickly spreads among the group…

28 days later…

The amazing thing with Danny Boyles’s 28 Days later is that although it owes a huge debt to the likes of George Romero’s zombie films, and John Wyndham and Richard Matheson’s writings, it still feels fresh and exciting. Film is quintessentially British, as evidenced by the rightly lauded use of a depopulated London for the starting point to the terror, yet there’s an earthiness to our small band of survivors. These are flawed characters that are ill equipped to deal with the infected implosion, there’s nothing remotely Hollywood about these people or the landscapes that frame them (CG is minimal, where hand-held digital cameras are the order of the day).

There’s a realistic feel factor that is rarely seen in other films of this ilk. Yep, sure there’s implausibilities, but with the infected creatures running at a fair old clip, becoming scary creations in a stark stripped back land, there’s too much fun being had – and nervous tension being burnt – to even begin to start nit-picking. Besides, the last quarter alone is a lesson in energy fuelled horror as the survivors, having seemingly found a safe house, find that monsters aren’t merely confined to the infected human kind. It’s a cracker-jack of a finale, bloody and bloody frantic, all backed by Murphy’s simple but totally potent musical arrangements.

It’s easy to see why America made it a monster hit at the box office, after just making a small profit in the UK, film went to America and made it big. Americans, you have to feel, enjoyed watching something raw in a sub-genre of horror that was at the time reliant on Romero rediscovering his mojo. Worldwide the film made over $70 million in profit, and those are the kinds of figures that speak volumes. The success ensured a sequel would follow, where Boyle and Garland bowed out of the main chairs and into producers roles for “28 Weeks Later”. It’s not as raw as “Days”, but it’s gorier and itself also a fine “infected” horror movie, and certainly a worthy follow up to what Boyle and Garland clinically created in 2002.

A great cast and premise get down and dirty In a sharply executed infected based horror. 8.5/10
_28 Days Later_ was made on a very small budget in the early days of digital cinema, so, yes, in retrospect, it does look a little bit like it was shot on a Nokia 3310, and yes, it is heavily responsible for the bilious deluge of zombie movies we got in its wake, which we are only now finally recovering from – but it’s so **good**.

_Final rating:★★★★ – Very strong appeal. A personal favourite._
One of the best zombie movies ever made with many of the genre’s “firsts:”

1. The first that begins with an actual explanation of what created the zombie plague.
2. The first to introduce a fast-moving “infected” horde, ratching up the tension significantly.
3. The first to infect people instantly (within seconds).

It also has one of the best movie scores, one that rivals those from John Carpenter classics “Halloween” and “The Thing.” It is striking how the music can elevate a movie or a scene.

The biggest issue, which to be fair, is not something Danny Boyle and his crew could have foreseen, is that it was shot in low quality SD, making it nearly unwatchable on large screen modern HD or 4K TV’s.

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Twenty-eight days after a killer virus was accidentally unleashed from a British research facility, a small group of London survivors are caught in a desperate struggle to protect themselves from the infected. Carried by animals and humans, the virus turns those it infects into homicidal maniacs — and it’s absolutely impossible to contain.

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