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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: July 25: 28 Days Later...

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July 25: 28 Days Later...

"Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary."
Directed by: Danny Boyle, Rated: R, 113 minutes

28 Days Later is a terrifying look at what would happen if the world submerged into chaos and we lost control of absolutely everything. While the pandemic featured in the film seems far from reality, seeing the aftermath- the abandoned cities, empty streets, destroyed property- feels all too real. The movie is an incredibly effective horror movie that never stops with the scares and the gore and leaves you on edge, even if you've seen it plenty of times before. Directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting), 28 Days Later lacks his usual colorful flair and instead substitutes it for a gritty, low-budget feel that really settles you into the action and terror that is unfolding before you. It's a film with very little hope and constant fear, leaving you wondering if anyone on screen will, or can, make it to the end of the film. Yet, even at the end of the world, Boyle manages to capture the beauty in its fleeting moments, be it horses running free in the countryside, or a sunset that brings the dreaded darkness. 

You'll never be as excited to see horses. 

28 Days Later follows Jim (Cillian Murphy), a man who wakes up from a coma to a world that's been destroyed. A virus, called Rage, has infected the populous of London and has spread throughout the United Kingdom, bringing ruin everywhere it goes. While Jim struggles to find out what has happened to his city, he meets Selena (Naomie Harris), another survivor who's only looking out for herself. But, the two only have each other and they must find a way out of their grave situation. As they search for rescue, the two encounter Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and his daughter Hannah (Megan Burns). They all decide to band together, and realize that their best attempt at being saved is to head to a military base that promises food, water, and shelter. Of course, it's a good distance away and the group must travel through an infested (and infected) city. Danny Boyle uses plenty of camera tricks to make the city look as empty, and even as dead, as one would think a ruined London would seem. During production, Boyle used an incredibly tight schedule to film scenes in one or two minute increments, at some of London's most famous locations and in doing so, gives 28 Days Later an entirely new sense of realism that makes the film even scarier. 

Look, kids. Big Ben. Parliament. 

The name of the virus comes from the fact that it literally makes anyone infected a rage-filled savage, boosting adrenaline and creating an insatiable desire to hurt and kill everyone around. Most people think the "enemies" in 28 Days Later are zombies, but they are in fact still very much alive, just really, really pissed off. The virus is transferred through bodily fluids, be it saliva, sweat, or blood. All it takes is a single drop of infected blood to turn a person in just seconds. This is a very original idea that takes the idea of a zombie and turns it up-side and inside out. It takes something we're all familiar with as movie-goers and gives it that boost of energy, where any escape or rescue seems all the more impossible. It's definitely one of the best parts of the movie and makes it all the more unpredictable. It's also worth noting that the performances of the four main characters are genuine. Each character feels like someone you'd run into on the street and the dynamic between the four is perfect. For as little background the film gives the characters, their development and interaction with each other give you a solid idea of what kind of people they are. Plus, you can never go wrong with Murphy or Gleeson. 

Who couldn't love this chubby leprechaun?

I would highly recommend 28 Days Later, but only if you can handle a ton of scares and a lot of gore. It's bloody, it's messy, and it packs one hell of an emotional punch that leaves you unsettled. It's a film that lingers, leaving you to wonder if something similar ever were to happen in the world today, and how not only you would react, but those around you. It taps into all sorts of fear (being completely alone, being trapped, losing loved ones) and does it in a way that never feels forced. It's genuinely terrifying and does not rely on the pop-out gimmicky scares. 28 Days Later's atmosphere is what scares the most and destroys any chance of optimism you try to hold onto when facing the possible end of the world. 

The Good:
a very fictional, but very real look at what would happen if the world went to shit, and everyone got very, very angry
The Bad:
the film leaves you so f**king scared and uncomfortable, you can't help but sleep with the light on
The Ugly:
even with the "Hollywood" spread of the disease, you wonder how similar something like the pandemic in the film is to anything that exists in the world today or the world of tomorrow

Overall: 9.4/10

Trailer:

Even the trailer puts me on edge. 

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2 Comments:

At July 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM , Blogger MT said...

I have always wanted to watch this. Thanks for the review my GOOD SIR.

 
At July 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Get on it, sir.

 

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