Wednesday, November 24, 2010

28 DAYS LATER (2002) - Fast zombies?!? Game over, man.

I apologize for the lack of posts recently, seeing as how I've been fairly busy with job interviews and the addictive drug that are Black Ops and CoH: Online. However, I have been watching a few good movies so I have a bit of a back log to make up for. Recently, I've been watching The Walking Dead on AMC and if you haven't seen it, give it a shot. It's a damn good show that's been picking up pace since the pilot episode and there's only a few episodes left before the season ends. Anyways, seeing all that zombie mayhem got me in the mood for some zombie post-apocalyptic horror, and I decided I'd give one of my personal favorites of the genre another watch.

28 Days Later is directed by Danny Boyle, of Sunshine and Slumdog Millionaire fame, and suffice to say, it's a bit different from most zombie movies. The flick kicks off with some animal liberation nutjobs breaking into a British medical laboratory and releasing monkeys infected with the highly contagious "Rage virus." Despite the frantic pleas of the scientist they capture, who warns them that a single drop of blood can infect anyone, the activists release the animals, and the chimps go batshit crazy and attack everyone. It turns out that Rage is a virus that turns anyone infected into, well... a raging maniac with a taste for murder and human flesh. And as opposed to the generic slow, clumsy zombies we're used to seeing in movies, the infected in Boyle's film are fast as Kenyan sprinters and absolutely tireless - jumping, climbing and avoiding obstacles.

London is empty. Cillian is all alone. Except not. There's zombies. Fast ones.
After the lab scene, the screen fades to black and we're presented with the words "28 days later," and see as Jim (Cillian Murphy), a former bicycle courier, lies completely naked on a hospital bed. He awakens and makes his way through the deserted hospital. As he stumbles outside, he realizes that London is completely devoid of people, leading to some very impressive shots of Jim in his hospital robe walking down an empty Westminster Bridge in amazement and horror. Jim quickly learns that he is in fact not alone. He is chased out of a church by a mob of deranged zombies intent on eating his face, when he is saved by two survivors, Mark and Selena (Naomie Harris).

The group takes shelter in an abandoned shop and Jim is told about the spreading of the virus, the chaos that followed and the evacuation and breakdown of the British government. Jim insists on visiting his parents to see if they are alive, and the other two survivors reluctantly agree. They arrive at the house the next day to see Jim's parents lying dead in their bed. Their forced to spend the night there, and in the middle of the night they're attacked by the infected. Mark is bitten and Selena kills him at once with a huge machete, knowing that he'd turn into one of the zombies near instantly. Selena and Jim eventually meet Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and his daughter Hannah, who are holed up in their apartment, and as a group decide to follow instructions Frank has heard on the radio announcing a survivor's center near Manchester.

The zombie apocalypse? I still needs my Cocoa Pebbles dawg.
28 Days Later has a relentless pace that never lets up, and Danny Boyle has a great talent for creating excruciating tension with his scenes. Walking into an abandoned gas station or going around a corner, you're constantly expecting something brutal to happen. Strangely enough, there's not a lot of gore compared to some other flicks of the genre, but the effect is the same and doesn't subtract from the horror aspect. The infected are genuinely badass - they're vicious, very fast, agile and have a habit of exploding out of the screen when you least expect them. The performances are generally good as well, with Cillian Murphy having a great starring role in his first major well known gig. He's believable and does a good job of portraying the fear and terror he goes through in the scenes.

It took me a while to finally watch this movie again, but I'm glad I finally did. Boyle's movie is an instant classic in the zombie genre, no doubt. It's a fresh take and one that is worthy of watching with some friends to maximize the scares and thrills. Very recommended.

TL;DR - Scarecrow from Batman Begins hides from zombies in England. Profit? - 8/10

21 comments:

  1. 28 days later is an awesome movie, i saw it on TV not too long ago.. the ending was kind of vague IMO but i guess that was their goal.

    the main actor (i dunno his name) played the role really well

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  2. addition to my first comment, i just realized you posted the lead actor's name, so now i know it! lol thanks

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  3. I'm an ignoramus for this, but what is TL;DR? I avoid the channels, trying to duck that ban. Don't want my IP associated.

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  4. By far one of my favorite Zombie movies (although I know that they are technically "infected" and not zombies). That aside, two scenes that ALWAYS stick with me from this are the opening scene with him in the hospital and then the scene near the end in the house during the lightning storm (any who have seen it will know what I'm referring to).

    My one problem with this movie is that the first time I saw it I had to walk home through the woods for two miles at 1am afterwards. Not fun.

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  5. @ Unablogger - Too Long; Didn't Read :)

    @ Game Store Guy - Yeah, that lightning storm scene bit was great. The frantic pace and the quick cuts made the tension build up really quickly.

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  6. I like what you did with your blog. keep up the good work!

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  7. Zombies that run like Kenyans.
    But can they run for president?

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  8. Yes, I think its time to watch this again.

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  9. This movie was really great... I will watch it again now ^^ !

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  10. I don't wet my panties for all the zombie stuff like some people do but I remember watching this in the theater and saying DAMN THIS MOVIE RULES.

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  11. And then Cuba Gooding, Jr shot the monkey.. Oh wait..

    DAT CILLIAN <3

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  12. I hated this and the sequel, but mostly this one. I saw it when it was released at theaters. Then I had to go see it again for the "super scary ending" which was retarded. Bad movie is bad.

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  13. I love your blog and will be following it. Great review of an excellent movie.

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  14. this movie is insane. Fast zombies are fast

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  15. Great movie and awesome blog, already a big fan

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  16. it's funny, i just had the same idea. Done with THe Walking Dead, decided to watch 28 Days later

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