28 Days Later Reviews
One of, if not my all time favourite film. This is one that anyone who is remotely into the "End of the world Zombie" genre would enjoy.
Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later" is my favorite zombie film by far. It may not be as popular as some of the other zombie classics out there, but I think it rises far above all of them. It's not only an entertaining and well-done zombie film, but a smart film which has a deeper meaning.
After a group of animal activists release a chimpanzee with a dangerous virus, a zombie virus breaks out. 28 days after that incident, Jim, a bicycle courier, awakens from a coma only to have to fight for his survival along with a few other survivors he runs into.
My favorite aspect of this film is its political allegories. Its political allegories give an example of what the government/military would do in a situation like this. Boyle is saying that if a zombie outbreak were to ever happen, the government, soldiers, and politicians would be safe in a bunker while the rest of the world would be left to fight for themselves. You could probably get some help from the army, but they may want to get rid of you or other people traveling with you. They might even have violent intentions towards the people they keep with them. The military soldiers we saw in this movie went to unsettling lengths. They tried to rape Selena and Hannah, killed their own soldiers for disagreeing with their actions, and, most importantly, kept one of their fellow soldiers who turned into a zombie alive and chained up so they could see how long it would take for him to starve (an action which resulted in their deaths). Also, the final scene is delightfully ambiguous, because it makes you wonder whether the military will even try to rescue anyone else.
The character arcs of Jim and Selena are also impressive as the 2 of them appear to swap personalities over the course of the film. When we are first introduced to the characters, Jim appears to be terrified of the zombies while Selena seems like a strong, fearless female lead. After she kills Mark early on, she tells Jim that if he ever turns, she will kill him in a heartbeat. After they discover two more survivors named Frank and Hannah, Selena appears to show little interest for helping them. Over the course of the film, however, she slowly befriends and accept them. The most important aspect of her change, however, is how she slowly develops a relationship with Jim as she said she would never do so early on in the film. As for Jim, on the other hand, he changes from fearing the zombies to becoming increasingly violent throughout the film. His first instance of violence is when he kills a zombified boy. However, the most notable instance of violence is when he kills several military soldiers in the final act of the film. This shows that threats to his life or threats to other people he cares for can bring out his animalistic instincts. My favorite moment surrounding their character arcs is how Jim reunites with Selena after he kills Corporate Mitchell. The scene where he gouges Mitchell's eyes out with his fingers is probably the most gory scene from the film (or, at least, in my opinion it is). It shows how much the outbreak has effected him. The moment when he reunites with Selena is very interesting though. Early on in the film, Selena said that she would kill him in a heartbeat if he were to turn into a zombie. However, the fact that she refuses to kill him (even though she clearly thinks he's infected) shows that both hers and Jim's character arcs are complete. I think that what director Danny Boyle is saying here is that you may try to act a certain way if you're put in a situation like this. Over time, however, the apocalypse will gradually bring out your true colors to a point where they will eventually be uncontrollable.
On top of its deeper meaning, I also found it to have several memorable and brilliant scenes. The first of which were its shots of a deserted London. I thought it was impressive that director Danny Boyle was able to make all of those highly populated areas of the city look deserted. From what I read, Boyle had the streets closed off at 4:00 am and sometimes had only a couple dozen minutes to film. Another great scene is when Jim kills all of the remaining soldiers in the bunker as this scene is both suspenseful, but, like I said above, it shows the character arcs of Jim and Selena at their finest. Also, the song "In the House, In a Heartbeat" was well-written and memorable. It's one of my favorite soundtracks for a horror film. It fit the movie really well. Personally, I didn't have any major issues with this movie. I thought it was all masterfully done.
In conclusion, this is one of my 10 favorite films from the 2000's, because of its deeper meaning. As I said, this is my favorite zombie film of all time (I even like it more than the original "Night of the Living Dead", which I actually consider to be overrated). I thought its sequel "28 Weeks Later" was alright, but in my opinion, this movie is the best that particular genre of film is ever going to get. I strongly recommend it.