28 Days Later

October 1st, 2003 Film, Film Reviews, Filmink

What made M Night Shyamalan’s Signs so fascinating was that a serious director was taking one of the most camp film genres from history (the alien invasion) and gave it a true-to-life, serious treatment.

The same is true of the Boyle/Garland partnership’s (Trainspotting, The Beach) latest film, a take on the ultra-cheap Italian zombie sci-fi/horror films of the 1970s.

Little known actor Cillian Murphy is Jim, a very lost and frightened hero when he awakens in a hospital to find London around him deserted.

After being attacked by seemingly insane people splattered with their own blood, he’s rescued by fellow survivors of the virus that has wiped England out and given the lowdown; live life looking over your shoulder, never go off alone, and avoid ‘infecteds’ like’ well, the plague.

After seeking out other survivors, the troupe make their way north to where a radio signal tells them a company of soldiers are in hiding. Running out of provisions and hope, they find the men and prepare to settle down to life with them before the line between man and monster blurs and Jim finds himself protector and hero to his fragile gang.

Maniacal creatures spewing blood and tearing victims to bits with their bare hands stand side by side with dramatic, soul searching introspection. The tension is ratcheted up to breaking point time and again, the scenery and effects are brilliantly bleak and dirty.

The characters feel real and honest, and as you stumble around post-apocalyptic England with them, you’ll feel every ounce of their fear and heartbreak.

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