28 Days Later – 4/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

28 Days Later – 4/5 – This review is being written on recommendation, and is for an oldie but goodie film.  This review is for a movie that has a slice of the horror/zombie genre before the zombie craze took a turn for popularity.  Before all ‘ The Walking Dead’ and ‘Zombieland’ takes on zombies, there was this Danny Boyle film.  This film stood out because it was truly hearty, vile, and distraught, but gave a realistic but somber tone on what a zombie outbreak could be.

The premise of this movie is this.  Animal activists invade a laboratory with the intention of releasing chimpanzees that are undergoing experimentation.  These animals are infected by a virus; a virus that causes rage. The naive activists ignore the pleas of a scientist to keep the cages locked, with disastrous results. The movie begins Twenty-eight days later where our main character Jim (Cillian Murphy), wakes up from a coma, all alone in an abandoned hospital. He begins to seek out people, but comes to find London is deserted, apparently without a living soul. After finding a church, which had become inhabited by zombies, he runs for his life. Selena and Mark rescue him from the horde and bring him up to date on the mass carnage and horror. As they move on from London, what begins as a tale of survival in this new world ultimately becomes a tale of heroics when they come across a group of troops who test there will to survive against mankind’s savage nature.  Cillian Murphy does a fantastic job in his role as an oblivious soul in a ravaged world.  Everything is out of place for him, and you feel the emptiness of the place he is now exploring.  Eventually, you watch as his character builds from a helpless soul to a brave individual.  This becomes true when it comes to protecting his life and fellow survivors against zombie hordes and the savage mankind in the troops they find at a mansion.  Outside of him, all the other characters were good in supporting roles.  They didn’t stand out as much as Jim, but helped the story progress along.

This movie feels like two movies in one.  You first begin with a survival horror flick from the beginning to a little pass halfway in the film.   The direction is slow but subtle, and you feel the hopelessness and distraught brought by Murphy and other supporting characters in this dark and now abandon world.  The subtle context is strong, and you really feel for these people survival, with a hope that they can make it to the end.  As much as there is no rhyme and reason of the abandonment to the characters, you feel the same way in yourself watching the film.  This raw realism is what makes the film believable.   Then, something changes.  Once the group meets up with the troops, it goes from this survival/horror theme to a hero vs. villain kind of theme.  You would think this would hinder the film, but Boyle does great and directing to this theme, as it adds another section/layer to the film.  This change adds another aspect of what could happen in an abandon world with no rules.  You see certain individuals turn to their animalistic nature and abuse humans against their free will.  This in turns gives the movie a raw characteristic vision, and makes you cheer even more for Murphy’s character to survive and win.  Boyle’s direction implies two different approaches in surviving this new world, but in end, one choice will keep you alive while the other will kill you.

The added direction adds depth to the world and atmosphere.  Everything is truly, abandoned.  No more traffic, no more connections, it’s a completely dead world.  This cinematography as great emotion to the movie, as this brings out the rigors and rawness of the world and how this world can act against you.  The score is daunting, but doesn’t do much to add depth and just strokes the typical horror feeling throughout the movie.

Overall, this is a unique but ambitious look at a genre that has blown up over the last couple of years.  Boyle took creative lengths to create a believable world, as well as show us two different vision of surviving in this zombie filled world.  The zombies themselves were great, as they weren’t typical zombies and could move super fast.  Murphy does a fantastic job in his role as Jim.  I would recommend this for any zombie fan, and a good movie to watch for a Halloween themed party.

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