I have a funny, but true story for you regarding this movie. As just about all of you know, I used to be married. Well when our first wedding anniversary came around, I picked the restaurant that we were going to eat at and Jennifer (my wife at the time) picked what we would do afterwards. So after dinner, Jennifer decided that we should go and see 28 Days Later. I obviously did not have a problem with that choice although when she heard about what movie we saw, our roommate thought it was really weird.
The plot: At a medical research laboratory in Cambridge, a group of animal rights activists break into the facility in order to free the animals there. However, the animals have been infected with a highly contagious “Rage” virus, and when one of the activists is attacked by a chimpanzee, the virus quickly infects her and spreads to the other members of the group. 28 days later, Jim wakes up from the coma that he had been in and after leaving the hospital, realizes that London has become a ghost town. The people that he initially finds happen to be infected and try to attack him, but Jim is rescued by Mark and Selena, who explain to Jim what has happened while he has been asleep. Now Jim must learn how to survive in this new world before he winds up dead, or even worse, infected.
28 Days Later was definitely a commercial success, earning over $82 million off of an $8 million dollar budget. The surprising thing about this was how well it did in America, earning over $45 million in spite of the fact that it was only shown on less than 1500 screens. As for the critics, the movie was pretty well received, earning an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics called this one of the best horror movies to come out and definitely one of the best zombie movies of all time. One of the best zombie movies of all time?? SMH.
Now I am a big fan of zombie movies. If you had any doubts of this claim, you should read the zombie paper/blog I wrote years ago. That being said, there has always been one thing that critics have said about this movie that ALWAYS irritates me. THIS IS NOT A ZOMBIE MOVIE! The reason for that is very simple. The infected people ARE NOT DEAD. They may display some zombie-like tendencies but it’s kind of hard to be a zombie if you aren’t dead. Also, to the idiotic critic that said “making zombies move fast for the first time was a bright and effective idea” needs to be fired for not getting his facts straight. Because he obviously has never seen, let alone heard of, Zombie 3 or The Return Of The Living Dead series. All of which show “fast zombies” and first came out in the mid to late 80’s, some 15-18 years before 28 Days Later came out. Idiots.
Ok. In spite of my complaint about how the movie was advertised, I do think that this was a great horror movie. Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris were both great as Jim and Selena respectively. I liked how their relationship progressed from begrudging dependence to actual friendship and even hinted at deeper feelings. Christopher Eccleston was also great in his portrayal of Major Henry West, and how he will do whatever it takes to survive, no matter how distasteful it may be. As for the movie itself, this was simply well done on all aspects. The plot and filming were simply incredible. The beginning scenes of Jim walking through a completely deserted London just added a sense of being completely helpless and isolated to the film. The director really knew what he was doing, not needing to go overboard on the blood and gore, but instead utilizing the simple premise of lulling you into a sense of being comfortable before delivering a fast paced scare that makes you jump and gets your heart pumping. This was definitely one of my favorite horror movies to come out in the 21st century.
So if you want a good horror movie that can deliver some good scares and “jump” moments, then check this movie out.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5