Writ. Alex Garland
Dir. Danny Boyle
Str. Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Christopher
Opens June 27th
More Proof That Those Scrawny,
Vegetarian Activists Are Going To Destroy The World
There is a fair amount working against this movie. Firstly,
it's filmed entirely in DV. And while DV is the newest,
cheapest, most cutting-edge and technically advanced style
of film making, it's also really choppy and usually looks
like a home movie. Second of all it's by Danny Boyle who
totally blew audiences away with Shallow Grave and
Trainspotting, but has since broken all ties with
Ewan McGregor, forged an unholy alliance with Leonardo,
and made one of the dumbest movies of the nineties, The
Beach. But the biggest problem with 28 Days Later
is that it's a zombie movie. And it's not like an attempt
at creating a new style of zombie movies, it's a zombie
movie like they made in the seventies, a plot-holes-the-size-of-Kathy-Bates
zombie movie. For all intents and purposes this should be
a terrible, terrible film.
Somehow, though, it's not. In fact, somehow it's fucking
brilliant. The DV style of cinematography creates gritty
images, with harsh contrasts; this lends itself nicely to
this style of movie. It Prevents the zombies from looking
too hammy, and the gore from looking too much like ketchup
whatever. Also, Boyle has cast off the bowling-ball-headed
Leo and adopted Cillian Murphy as his new leading man. Murphy,
a fine actor, with huge expressive eyes, looks slightly
simian in the opening shots, but is one damn cute, scrawny
brit once he shaves.
Additionally Boyle makes a Herculean attempt to return to
the roots of his filmmaking, where his true skills lie:
the personal psychological drama. Much like with Shallow
Grave, 28 Days Later
is more about the characters
than any plot device or clever twist. Boyle seems to be
asking, "What would you really do if the entire country
was suddenly over run with zombies?" Would you do what
everyone else does in every other disaster/horror movie?
From The Stuff up to Reign Of Fire, every single god-dammed
time they all try to find 'the cure' and try to save humanity
at the risk of their own lives? I have no problem admitting
that I'm just not that kind of guy. I'd do what Jim (Murphy)
does: Find some hot chick (or in my case, some sexy trailer-trash
boy in cut-offs) and try to get as far away from all of
it as possible.
Boyle has always been good at delving into the various layers
of human nature-- in essence that's what all of his movies
have been about. He has honed his skills on revealing what
is nasty and terrifying about us all; with 28 Days Later
it is no different. If you want to get all Harvard on the
movie, you could say something about how the zombies, infected
with some new fangled disease, simply called 'Rage,' are
representative of the most basic human emotions. Stripped
of ethics, morals and decency we simply want to feed and
reproduce, kind of like bunnies -- only a lot more gory.
But also there is the descent of the last remaining humans,
and what they will do, and do to each other to survive.
And that's where the movie starts getting good.
Don't get me wrong; this isn't just a psychological thriller
set against a post-apocalyptic backdrop. The action is quite
top notch. However, while the monsters in the movie are
scary enough, they don't hold a candle to the humans left
over. There are very few jump-out-of-your-seat moments.
No one seemed all the frightened by the movie; rather 28
. is a creep-under-your-skin-and-make-you-question-everything
kind of horror movie.
There has been a lot of outcries against the ending; most
of which I'll concur with. Boyle tacked on an extra ten
minutes that took a lot away from the situation. He could
have left the audience unsettled and nervous, but he had
to tie up the loose ends, and close everything up neatly.
This is the only real problem with the film. Aside from
the ending, it's near brilliant.
One Wheel Of Stinky Swiss
There's no getting around it: it's a pretty cheesy premise,
with plenty of holes. So just cover your nose and swallow
it; it's worth it, trust me.
Four Hungry Kids Wearing Bad Makeup
I liked the zombies in this movie, and I like the way they
were filmed. No doubt the special effects budget was on
par with my Supercuts hairstyle, so the zombies are pretty
much always in the shadows and always just some bloke lurching
spastically. All of which lends itself well to the gritty
style of the movie, and is pretty darn creepy. Also it must
have been a blast being an extra on the movie. All you had
to do was flail around for five minutes and you got free
Three hipsters, spouting blood and being generally
In a sharp contrast to The
Eye, 28 Days Later
stays as classic
and true to a dying genre of movie as possible - your monster
movie. I'm not sure if Boyle is trying to revive the form,
or just thumbing his nose at the rest of the world, saying
'Look what I can do!' Either way this is a very cool, very