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Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory.
All Critics (225)
| Top Critics (50)
| Fresh (194)
| Rotten (31)
| DVD (21)
The movie's craft makes the dread of a killer virus contagious: viewers may feel they have come down with a case of secondhand SARS or sympathetic monkeypox.
Heedlessly derivative though it may be, 28 Days Later does what it sets out to do and then some -- scare us out of our wits, then get us to apply those wits to an uncommonly intelligent and provocative zombie flick.
Later does a lot of things right, which makes its third-act missteps even more frustrating.
The picture is twitchy and annoying, flecked with blood and half-digested ideas, and too much is left unexplained.
Danny Boyle's purposeful direction and Mark Tildesley's imaginative and resourceful production design keep this fresh and edgy; the images of a wasted London and the details of a paramilitary organization in the countryside are both creepy and persuasive.
What also makes 28 Days Later effective, and sets it apart from other thrillers, is that it makes you care about the characters.
The vanished London society that Cillian Murphy wakes up to at the start of this movie is one of the most brilliantly staged horror movie openings ever, and the survivalist battle that closes it caps a powerful story of disease paranoia.
It really touched on something that nobody had ever tackled before and did it in such a modern way... I was really impressed.
The possibility of renewal suggested by the survivors' attempts to start over certainly points toward hope. However, the circularity of the movie's plot is most likely to inspire dismay.
The best purely British horror/science-fiction film in decades. And the first great apocalypse movie of the new millennium.
Boyle is perfect for the job because he's not big on reassurance; by taking the radical step of letting the movie's low-budget grime get under your skin, he gives the zombie picture new life.
It's an efficient reminder that science-fiction filmmaking doesn't necessarily have to be swamped by special effects, that the best of it comes in tweaking the familiar just enough to turn it fantastical.
If you're gonna homage George Romero, do it with some respect, and this Brit import comes loaded. Danny Boyle directs, Alex Garland writes, Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleason star, it's a power line-up primed to deliver all the tense, sweaty anxiety fear of being eaten alive should bring. Pretty damn cool stuff.
Menacing, grisly and bloody-brilliant to its core. 28 Days Later's combination of heart-pounding terror and gritty realism conjure up a fascinating take on a zombie/infection/plague tale and its real-world-situational trope. 4/5
Early neo-zombie flick is chilling in its unapologetic depiction of our fierce will to survive and the inhuman violence in humanity...and vice versa. Cillian Murphy is a bit bland at first, but then he gets balls-to-the-wall psycho. Naomie Harris (whom I erroneously thought was a recent ingenue) is bold and tough as the pitiless then maternal Selena, and the little bits of humor and camaraderie in this ragtag family are heartwarming. "The Walking Dead" seems to have taken its entire premise from this movie.
A good zombie movie but also more notably a good political allegory, '28 Days Later' works off its' innovative director, even if it is not as quick paced as one might hope from a zombie flick.
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