31 Horror Movies I Own #14: 28 Days Later
In 2002, Danny Boyle shook up the zombie genre by introducing us to a virus that turned almost everyone into undead brain-cravers possessing super strength and scariest of all: INCREDIBLE SPEED. No more outrunning hoards of zombies—28 Days Later suggests that if you find yourself in this situation, you’re pretty much fucked, because escaping a few might be possible, but 100, no way.
Our hero, Jim (blue-eyed, dreamy Cillian Murphy), awakens in an abandoned hospital 28 days after the “rage” virus is released. Curse those damn scientists, monkeys, and misguided animal rights activists! Thanks to them, almost everyone is raving, cannibalistic lunatic.
After running into a few creatures, Jim finds some humans left alive, but without resources to sustain them, they have to move out of the city in hopes of finding other people. One of the best things about this film, outside of the awesome blood-splattered kills, is that those “people” turn out to be more dangerous than the zombies.
This film is a tight, roller-coastery action-packed thriller, with fantastic Special F/X and buckets of carnage. i.e. – right up my alley. It appeals to my zombie apocalypse fears in a whole new way, and I’d recommend it for anyone’s collection. So it’s just too bad that the sequel didn’t live up to the excellence of this one.
Short of some great scenes like someone using helicopter blades to mass-murder zombies, and a tense night-vision sequence in the subway, 28 Weeks Later failed due to giant plot holes, unbelievable characters, and most importantly: not following the rules set forth in the original film. I’d skip it unless you’re purely interested in the gore.