In an opening that almost mirrors that of The Walking Dead, Cillian Murphy (Jim) wakes up in a London hospital to an eerie world of quiet. It’s not long before he encounters a nest of the Infected, zombies to us, and he’s running for his life, wondering what the hell is going on.
He’s rescued by the tough, take no prisoners, Selena (Naomie Harris) and her friend/fellow survivor Mark (Noah Huntley), and he learns the world as he knows it has come to an end. Jim and Selena team up with Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and his daughter, Hannah (Megan Burns), and go in search of other survivors, following the directions of a radio transmission, but the safe haven turns out to be anything but.
This is a low budget, horror flick with plenty of action, pure terror, family love and great acting. Danny Boyle is responsible for what is possibly one of the best zombie films ever. The shaky camera work gives a sense of reality to the action, pulling the audience in to the nightmare. Most disturbing of all in this post-apocalyptic world is the reaction of people to this disaster. As it turns out, zombies are not the real monsters; They would be men, specifically soldiers in this particular tale. This brave new world is no place for women.
The tension is eased at times by moments of humour, like Gleeson offering Crème de Menthe to his new guests after they’ve just survived a zombie chase, and the four of them going on a shopping spree at an empty grocery shop and leaving credit cards behind to cover the cost of the goods. The world may be full of reeking corpses, but together they realise they can make a new life for themselves, and a few moments of joy give the sense of hope. Just don’t cling too much to this hope. This is a horror movie after all.
These zombies are not the slow-moving, shuffling corpses we’ve become familiar with in The Walking Dead. These guys are fast, as fast as the living and therefore, ten times more deadly and frightening than usual. 28 Days Later is gritty, real and terrifying. *****
Come back on Friday when I review the excellent follow up to 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later.
Who’s seen this one?