"Be thankful for everything. For soon, there will be nothing."
Oh what could've been...
Alright, Brendan Gleeson does not in fact play the main character... but man, what if he did? I digress; let's get to the point here. Zombie movies have continued to deterierate further and further from being anything special. In fact, a majority are far from it. How can we fix this? Continue to make more unconditional zombie movies, like Shaun of the Dead
. Yes, they are indeed comedies, but at least they brought something interesting to the zombie genre. Think of it like the new, since 2008, Annual Unconventional Superhero Movie rule. Starting with Hancock
(by Peter Burg starring Will "Get Jiggy With it" Smith), we've gotten one superhero movie per year that is just in terms of a superhero movie, ridiculous or genre busting. Of course, I am speaking of Watchmen
You know, change it up a little. Or maybe just not have bad scripts. Yet, nothing will stop that, I know. But a good idea would be to take note from movies like this, that almost make zombies like a stage or merely a background plot device that will shadow the true depth of the film.
The film starts out with a montage of riots, violent protests, and other instances of chaos that have occurred. Pan out to reveal monkey. Several monkeys, to be exact. Scientists have been doing tests on these monkeys, filling them with rage via these montages, and recording the results. Then the f*ckers at PETA (no offense) or some other animal organization decide that it's best for the monkeys to be free and live like they once did in Being John Malkovich . They release the monkeys already inflicted with rage, the monkeys bite, the receivers bite back, and so forth, and so forth. Cut to a naked Cillian Murphy, playing Jim, who has been in a coma for quite some time. I think it was 28 days- OH WAIT.
Jim wakes up confused, for the hospital is abandoned. Since he was in a coma, he tries to get used to walking around again, breaks into a few vending machines, tries a few pay-phones, then proceeds to enter the streets of London. Much like the hospital, Jim finds the streets abandoned. He wanders for hours, looting anything interesting or useful he sees, and just wanders the messy streets of London. The walls are filled with posters asking for whereabouts of people, talks about the rapture, etc, etc. Jim then finds a church, full of corpses (HAH.) After more exploring, several of the corpses arise, as well as the pastor, who Jim hits in the head with a bag of empty soda cans. Jim, thinking this was a huge sin, tries to escape the ridiculously angry clergy-man, as well as the outraged lay people. Jim is continuously chased by angry Christians (or so he thinks) until he is confronted by Mark and Selena, decked out with bandanas and molotov cocktails. They save Jim, brief Jim, and start their journey... to Jim's parents house. They meet people on the way, like Frank (played by BRENDAN FREAKING GLEESON), his daughter Hannah, and yes, some soldiers. There is no attempt at trying to stop the virus, and there is no attempt to find who is responsible. This is straight up about everyone's survival.
NOW do you consider the Kingdom of God?!
I consider 28 Days Later... a
You're gonna love these guys.
s more of a drama than a horror movie. Yes, there are indeed scary and truly intense moments, but underneath all of that foreplay, this is truly a story about people who are at rock bottom who try to work together, despite their relationships, to rise from the ashes like a fucking phoenix. I know, maybe I'm overexaggerrating, but just think about it! It's almost as if the zombies are just a catalyst for the characters' adventure and struggle. Alright, I'll level out here; this is also a great horror movie. But I ask you, faithful, or not, reader, to look past this aspect just a little and observe the characters and story. Their actions, words, and ideas; everything feels surreal, no? These characters play off each other so naturally that you'd get the vibe that you know these people, or at least people fitting to their archetype. This is indeed one of the most realistic zombie movies i've seen in a while, despite it's ridiculous ending, that just happens to not be the zombies' fault. Even then, you see the desperation of humans in this time wherein they are losing EVERYTHING. It's somewhat emotional, the characters and the adventure they embark on. Yet this does not take away from the fact that this movie has zombies. And that's a good thing.
As a horror film, 28 Days Later
works if you are already invested into what you are about to watch. A friend of mine knew that it was a zombie movie, and during the intro where everything is set up for him, he got bored and changed it. This is a zombie movie that tends to stray away from the standard. There really is no virus or mutation. Really, 28 Days Later
takes the Doom movie approach. The zombies come from rage, which is embodied through blood, which, if spread, will enrage others, turning them into zombies. Interesting, and not too distracting of an idea. In reality, it's very interesting and something that could really make you think in the end.
This movie goes places...
I'd place this under intense rather than scary, since each scene that you would consider scary is basically a huge fight for survival; everything feels risky and no one is safe. At any point, I could sense one of, if not all, of the protagonists dying. Of course, they wouldn't, because they're needed for the film to work properly, but everything is so fast paced and intense, often frightening, that I wouldn't doubt a random death here or there. The end is where the true scares come in, and really, it's just creepy,Resident Evil 1
mansion-esque horror, but with sped up zombies and people who are really not prepared for this kind of situation. This is where the movie succeeds. 28 Days Later...
does not use cheap dog through the window scares or any other real cliche ideas. Everything that happens here that you could consider scary is right up in your face and is strong in showing you what it has to offer. Is the movie scary? Yes, it can be considered very scary, but I'd prefer to just take everything in at once. Because this film is more than scares and intensity.
Surprisingly enough, there is also a fair amount of drama, comedy, and even romance to be found in here. The interactions between the survivors (this is the point where I talk about this like It's Left 4 Dead
) range from really heart-felt, emotional, and strong, to a little comedic. Some of the characters ramble, talk about things they had when life was normal, experiences, their life during the zombie attack, etc. It's kind of like the comedy you'd find in The Hurt Locker
; it's subtle but relatable and understandable. Yes, there is a bit of a romantic subplot, but in the end, it feels kind of worth it, even if it is a little sappy and a little cliche. Just watching it play out feels right, though, considering what has just occurred on screen. Nothing feels out of place, neither comedy nor romance, and neither overshadows the overall adventure.
WE DON'T NEED YOU! WE HAVE BAGS OF EMPTY SODA CANS!
How the movie really draws you in is with this migration the survivors go through. Think of it like watch a real life game of Left 4 Dead,
but with no guns. This works to it's advantage, because without guns, the intensity is risen and things get harrier, rather than they would be if they had AK-47s. Actually, the only guys with guns are the true cowards, and are basically the bad guys near the end. But lets move on. Since you actually care about these characters, thanks to the writing, each step they take keeps you invested in the movie, because you just want to see these guys live. That's a major contribution of the beauty of 28 Days Later...
Now, back to writing... the script is good. Generally, great dialogue and bandy is exchanged between characters at a good pace, and everything stands up strong. This is the strong point of the writing, and basically the only thing worth talking about. Another small thing that plays well for the film is the cinematography. 28 Days Later
is full of great angles and excellent camera movement. Everything feels and looks grainy, giving off the vibe of a standard DV camera being used, which is actually quite possibly true, from what I've heard. Like what Cloverfield
tried to do, this helped get you into the movie, and raises the intensity. There is some shake, but not enough to piss you off with a migraine, but there is enough movement to keep things on their toes. It's even artsy at points, with obscure, yet well thought out shots, and even some surreal Michel Gondry-like foreground work. For instance, there is a scene where the survivors' car is riding along the top of the screen, and below them is a huge as water-color painting of a field of flowers. It's beautiful, and along with it comes an excellently picked song coming from an excellently made soundtrack. The music by John Murphy is intense, filled with orchestra pieces bouncing off of a standard rock band. Everything is placed properly and fits each scene, helping you feel the emotion you should feel. Everything feels just right.
28 Days Later
I don't know if I should smile or cringe.
is a special zombie movie. It presents itself quaintly, and will push you into the movie, whether you are ready and interested or not. If so, then you'll easily get comfortable with it's opening statements, than you are on your way to begin an amazing adventure full of excellent things. Complimented by brilliant cinematography and writing, the characters you follow will keep you caring and curious of what happens to them next. Will they make it? Who is going to die next? It's like a long as episode of Lost, but with better writing and less plot twisty. The movie is highly unique, and is one hell of an adventure, with full payoff in the end. Everything works perfectly, and it's all just so well done. Though... this being a british movie, I was disappointed at the lack of Peter Dinklage.
THE MAN IS A SAINT!
I digress once a-gain. 28 Days Later
truly amazing horror movie, that is much more than just horror. But yeah; ZAMBIES!
5/5 for being *hand movement* different.