Actors: Cillian Murphy,Christopher Eccleston,Naomie Harris, Megan Burns
|Review Summary and Plot Commentary about 28 Days Later|
|This film opens at a research lab which is testing a biological formula on primates. After a very PETA-esque group breaks in and releases the animals, much to the horror and despite the warnings of a lab worker, the 'Rage' virus begins to spread,...quickly. It was worthwhile to see the cinematography of the Animal Rights radicals becoming the first victims of this 21st century plague, when the animals they released attack them.
The scene now turns to a hospital....it's 28 days after the release of the rage virus, and 'Jim'...played by Cillian Murphy; comes out of a coma and awakens....alone in a locked hospital room, with the only key pushed under the door so that only Jim could retrieve it ..if he ever awakened after his accident. Jim is dazed by the world he awakens to, the city of London is (nearly) deserted, the streets all a debris strewn wasteland which is almost comical at first, as Jim stumbles along the streets in his hospital frock. Soon Jim is on the run from creatures...that look human, but distorted by an odd mania that makes them more than zombies, but less than human now.
The infected humans show more strength and an inhuman ferocity toward any other life. They claw, bite and slash like pack animals. They seem in contant pain. They vomit blood with grotesque frequency. Jim is almost lunch meat when he is rescued by two gas-masked saviors. Armed like a vigilante death squad, they take Jim to a secure spot, and plan to leave the city to go to the countryside. One of Jim's rescuers is Selena (Naomie Harris), an attractive black woman who has become so hard and bitter from surviving that she is more akin to a stone than a person now.
The film shoot of the scavenging/shopping spree that the trio go on as they prepare to leave the city is a morbidly humorous reflection of other viral outbreak classics like Charlton Hestons 'Omega Man'; and even earlier work, 'The Last Man on Earth' with Vincent Price.
After losing the third member of their group to an attack of the Rage zombies, Jim and Selena meet up with Frank and Hannah...a father and daughter pair that have so far managed to stay alive in their hi-rise apartment by barricading and collecting rainwater to drink on the roof. Now, all four join together to leave London. Jim wants to desperately find his own mother and father, Frank and Hannah want to get to Manchester, where they hope to find salvation with the British Army, thanks to a taped military broadcast which is playing on the radio each day.
--Bronze Tiger, Resident Scholar
|A animal rights group breaks into a lab and discovers that chimps are being tortured. What they don't know is that they are infected with a virus that turns them into a rage-fueled monster. They let the chimps go and the virus spreads, wiping out millions. 28 days later a man wakes up from a coma, unaware of the virus. As he wanders through the desolate streets he comes across 2 survivors who fill him in on what has happened. He then joins them and together they try to survive and find other surviviors.
--Jack Bauer, Resident Scholar
| If you took all the horror movies of the last ten years put them in a bucket and then filled it with water to see which ones floated to the top, 28 Days Later would definitely be one of them. This is a smart movie that transcends the cheap scare tactic.
The setup is that Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a hospital bed to find the hospital he is in and London completely deserted. The reason, he discovers, is due to an outbreak of a rage virus. The virus turns humans into vicious creatures whose only desire is to kill. This sounds like a pretty scary movie, but it is much more, fortunately for the audience screenwriter Alex Garland takes us deep into the soul of humans, and let's be honest, what is scarier than the human soul?
I found it remarkable that the virus to wipe out human civilization as we know it in this movie is not the Aids virus, but instead a viral rage. This makes perfect sense to me in a day when Road Rage is a common term. Anger builds and intensifies over insignificant things like traffic, ironically the first time that the characters in 28 Days Later notice something as simple as horses galloping and in effect nature itself is after society is gone and things like traffic no longer exist. Does it really have to come to that for us to take a break?
I have heard this movie referred to as a reinvention of the zombie genre and I feel that this is a misrepresentation of the film itself. It is a Zombie film, however calling it a horror film is a mislabeling. When the word horror is uttered many audience members will be turned off and expect a slasher film full of big busts and sex. 28 Days Later is too intelligent of a film to be labeled as such. I found myself constantly comparing it to Lord of the Flies more so than Night of the Living Dead. Society is gone, and these humans must figure out how to begin a new civilization. The subject matter brings up interesting questions, and promoted inner thought.
Cillian Murphy is an everyman as Jim. He comes across as truly awed by the emptiness of London, and we feel his pain when we learn the outcome of his family. By the end of the film he is a scrawny Rambo, running barefoot through the woods on a mission of revenge. This wide range makes sense due to Murphy's excellent execution of the role. Naomie Harris is a tough as nails Selena who of course ends up learning a lesson of love by the conclusion. Harris has a dominant quality about her that kept my eyes glued to her. The cast is rounded out with great performances from Christopher Eccleston as a Hitleresque leader, Megan Burns as a girl who must find a new family, and Brendan Gleeson.
Director Danny Boyle filmed 28 Days Later Digitally. I always enjoy the handheld camera feel. It makes me feel closer to the subject matter and brings realness to a film that I don't always get otherwise. Some will complain that it is too grainy, but again this lends to some of the mystery and gives an almost documentary feel to the movie.
I liked 28 Days Later because the intensity of the whole film was not built around music and the special effects; it was powerful because the subject matter was simply engrossing. I was deeply enthralled in the plot and then scared back to my senses before I plunged back in.
--Christopher Bryan, Resident Scholar
|After a raging disease breaks out of a top secret labratory and wipes out most of the planet, Jim who was in an accident before the disease broke out, wakes up and finds what has happened. Only people that aren't infected by the disease are left on earth and they must live extremely cautiously if they want to survive. A very interesting and intelligent horror/drama from Brittain.
--cameron line , Resident Scholar
|This is the horror story of a plague of viral infection spread through out the world. This disease makes average people rage uncontrollably, destroying everything in it's path. Four survivors try to stay alive in this thriller.
--Paul, Resident Scholar
|A disease is released causing humans around the world to become flesh-eating monsters when they come in contact with infected DNA. 28 days later a bike messenger awakes from a coma in an abandoned hospital. Upon leaving he investigates the city to find it completely abandoned except for two individuals, one of which becomes infected and has to be killed. The two remaining individuals search for uninfected humans.
--Christopher L. McCleary, Resident Scholar
| Jim, a bicycle courier, wakes from a 28 day coma to find himself in an empty hospital. Starving, he picks up some cans of soda and steps into the streets of London to find it eerily empty.
This movie is a hybrid between a virus outbreak movie and the undead horror movies. A virus which within seconds turns its victims into raving, blood vomiting, pink-eyed, contagious renderers of flesh has gotten out after the London arm of PETA foolishly lets a chimp infected with "rage" out of its cage.
Basically two things can happen to a person in this movie. He can get torn apart by the "rage" zombies or he can get hacked apart by his friends after becoming a "rage" zombie.
Desperate, the characters decide that they will follow a broadcast telling its listeners to go to a blockade in Manchester where some military types claim they have a cure.
--Nairdwel, Resident Scholar
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|Analysis of 28 Days Later|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Movie
Actual chase scenes or violence - 60%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzle - 10%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
**Fantasy or Science Fiction?**
- science fiction story
Kind of alteration:
- turned into a monster or alien
Kind of Horror Story
- the zombie chased me!
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- brunette (Brown)
- (man) short/medium straight
- average (man)
Events of movie makes character more...
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor?
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
Secondary Main Character
- brunette (Brown)
- brunette (Black)
- (woman) medium/shoulderlgn curly
- very skinny (female)
How much in movie?
- an entire race
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- 20th century (1970's to Present)
Takes place on Earth?
Kind of city
- Dirty, crime-ridden (like NY)
Accounts of torture and death?
- explicit references to deaths
- very explicit references to deaths and torture
Sex/nudity in movie?
What kind of sex:
- seeing nude male butt
- seeing full frontal--men
- A lot of foul language
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).