28 Days Later Introduces Fast Zombies

28 Days Later = 4 out of 5 Stars
Mark: What's your name?
Jim: Jim.
Mark: I'm Mark. This is Selena. Ok, Jim. I've got some bad news.

A modern day zombie movie...well they're not technically zombies, they're infected. A quality take on the genre, with stylish, digi cam direction from Danny Boyle and good characters. Very watchable, although it doesn't shine so well in the third act.

The beginning of this film is particularly interesting and well handled. Jim, played by Cillian Murphy, awakens from a coma in an abandoned hospital. He soon realizes he is completely alone. The film then gives us empty streets of London, subtle music queues slowly creeping in, and the use of digital camera to provide a great isolated feel for Jim.

Jim eventually comes across others still living in London. While some are regular scared people, the rest are infected victims of a virus, causing them to attack with no purpose and kill anything in their path. The film eventually turns into a road film of sorts, as a group travels to find any sort of safe haven.

Jim: No, no. No, see, this is a really shit idea. You know why? Because it's really obviously a shit idea.
Like all good zombie movies, it's not about the zombies, but about its characters and the reactions to their situation and how to deal with it. The lack of a true social structure, how people arrive at their true nature, and testing the hopes that people have left are all the kind of factors that play into this film. It doesn't have Romero style social commentary, but the handling of isolation and despair works well.

This movie introduced the new style of "sprinting zombies" where they run, they slide, they hit humans and take a bite. New rules to the genre are always welcome, if handled effectively, and here, ones involving how to kill or become one of the infected lead to good scenes of tension.

Danny Boyle, tackling yet another completely different genre, does a good job at creating a look for this film. The dark atmosphere, chaotic editing style of infected attacks, and solid horror film pacing is handled well. The use of digital camera makes the situations presented more effective, as does the very good soundtrack, which is now being used quite a bit in various movie trailers.

As is a constant problem with Boyle's screenwriting collaborator Alex Garland, the stories third act has issues. Although the film plays out well enough, especially after repeated viewings, one can't help but wish there were other possible resolutions or places to take this concept.

It's a good movie overall, made better by a unique presentation from Danny Boyle's direction, and solid work from the lead actors.

Selena: He was full of plans. Have you got any plans, Jim? Do you want us to find a cure and save the world or just fall in love and fuck? Plans are pointless. Staying alive is as good as it gets.


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