28 Days Later Review

28 Days Later is a 2002 post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle, starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, and Christopher Eccleston. The first installment in the 28 Days Later series, the plot follows a group of survivors who cope with the destruction of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious virus.


Positives:

  • Great characters
  • Great score
  • Good plot
  • Great special effects
  • Good script
  • Great cast
  • Great performances

Negatives:

  • n/a

Plot:  The story isn’t something that we haven’t seen before.  Jim wakes up in the hospital after an undisclosed amount of time only to find the world ravaged by zombie-like infected.  The protagonists find themselves on a journey to safety and the “answer to infection”.  Despite the threat of the infected they learn that humans can pose just a big a threat.  The group discover that the very soldiers they believe would protect them have lured them to use the females as sex slaves. The film does have a pretty sweet twist where the protagonist learn that although Britain has been ravaged by the virus that the world hasn’t been fully infected. A great compelling story with a serious focus of the characters.  (3 out of 5)

Characters: The characters are just great.  The main protagonist are Jim (Murphy), Frank (Gleeson), Hannah (Burns), and Selena (Harris).  Jim is a likable character and does develop as a result of the tragedies of the story.  Selena is a strong female but not overly masculine and does have a vulnerable side.  Jim and Selena do have a great romantic relationship that grows over the course of the film.  Hannah is likable and the tragedies of the film do make her a sympathetic character.  Frank is a great character, a father trying to protect his daughter from this cursed world.  The film’s main antagonists is Major Henry West (Eccleston) and his military squad who are luring female survivors into sexual slavery.  The most pronounced of the group is Corporal Mitchell (Ricci Harnett) and Private Jones (Leo Bill).  Really the rest are canon fodder. But it is the relationship between Jim, Frank, Hannah, and Selena that pushes the movie.  (4 out of 5)

Cast: Not only are their great performances but the film is well cast.  The cast includes Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Brendan Gleeson, and Megan Burns.  Supporting cast includes Noah Huntley, Luke Mably, David Schneider, Stuart McQuarrie, Ricci Harnett, Leo Bill, Ray Panthaki, Bindu De Stoppani, Marvin Campbel, and Jukka Hiltunen. (4 out of 5)

Visuals:  Thumbs up to the good use of the makeup and practical effects.  The zombies…I mean infected, look good and plausible and their physical characteristics as well as the movement make the creatures really scary.  Particularly the blood red eyes. (3 out of 5)

Score:  The score is actually pretty good especially the 28 Days Later theme “In The House – In A Heartbeat” which creates a very isolated and creepy vibe for the film.  Thumbs up to John Murphy for making a really good soundtrack. (4 out of 5)

Writing:  Cannot stress how well written this movie is.  It’s not the apex of writing but does tell a compelling story.  The focus  on the characters (through the good times and bad ones) is greatly appreciated.  The film does go at a good pace balancing the various elements.  Despite the film’s serious tone, there are moments of levity that help make the characters relatable.  The dialogue is really good especially when it comes to the more dramatic moments. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, 28 Days Later is exciting and does reinvent the zombie franchise.  It has so much going for it.  The characters are great, casting and performances great, a great score, and an awesome viewing experience.  28 Days Later gets 4 out of 5.

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