Movie of the Day – 28 Days Later

To be honest, I am not a huge fan of horror movies.  The current state of horror movies relies far too much on over the top gore and torture where I am just disgusted rather than scared of the movie.  Sure, horror movies are synonymous with violence and gore, but it can be used effectively or has an actual place in the movie.  Gore for the sake of gore doesn’t make a horror movie.  I want to be scared about the unknown, scared of the surroundings, and scared that there is no hope for the characters involved.  I don’t want to see creative (or non-creative) ways to kill off characters.  It just becomes a showcase for intricate ways to kill characters (Saw movies are the biggest culprit) and you care very little about the characters or story.

So with few choices in the scare department, I look towards the lovely genre that is zombie films to get both gore and a good story out of my movie experience.  Now before we go forward with the movie of the day, I am fully aware that there are two sides to the zombie debate, in particular the sides that are drawn with regards to 28 Days Later.  In the most traditional sense, 28 Days Later is not a zombie movie.  The “infected” are not dead, they are not re-animated corpses, they don’t eat their victims, and they do not shamble after their prey.  The “infected” are zombie like though, in that their sheer numbers and relentless pursuit of the main characters is zombie like.  I am listing it as a zombie movie for the sake of writing this post.

Now with that disclaimer out of the way, I can get to the reason as to why this is the Movie of the Day…

As far as horror movies go, this is in my top ten.  Danny Boyle crafted an utterly beautiful and terrifying movie, with fantastic characters and tense pacing.  Danny Boyle was able to create this post-outbreak London and make the viewer feel desolate and alone as Cillian Murphy’s character was after he wakes up in the opening scene.  What makes the movie so effective in portraying isolation and unknown fear is the setting of an empty London, England.  Now I have traveled to London and it is absolutely bustling, crowded, and noisy.  There is so much visual stimulation in London that seeing empty streets and no noise at all, is utterly terrifying to me.

What enhances the feeling of emptiness and desolation is the way that Danny Boyle shot the movie.  Instead of using high grade film, Danny opted to use digital video cameras to give it a gritty feel and almost like we are watching a home video of the movie.  Because of that choice in filming, you get gorgeous, scary views of London:

Aside from the look of the movie, 28 Days Later is an intriguing story with close ties to what could happen in our world.  Unlike a zombie outbreak, this is a virus outbreak.  The opening sequence of the movie shows a group of animal activists breaking into an animal testing lab to free the monkeys.  After a plea for reason from the activists, they open up a cage that contains an overly aggressive monkey and the virus spreads in an instant.  We learn later about the effects of the “Rage” virus from supporting characters and Cillian’s character is getting all the details.  We learn that it spreads fast, it takes less than a minute for the person to change, and that the infected are reduced to a base emotion, rage.  To me that is a frightening scenario.  A virus that is contagious in under a minute and turns those into these rabid beasts.  They don’t tire, they will chase you until caught, and highly aggressive.  It is like the fabled fast zombie scenario, ,which is the scariest outbreak we could ever have.

I stated above that this movie has some close ties to what could happen in our world.  The movie indicates that the rage virus just came to be.  The lab technicians were studying the virus and understood the implications of their discovery.  It is scary and unnerving to relate the rage virus to something like Mad Cow disease, which never existed until around 1999.  Hell even think about the Sars outbreak that happened in mid 2000’s.  The fact that a virus can just mutate and all of a sudden become a major crisis is terrifying.  I think that 28 Days Later plays upon the possibility of new viruses spawning and causing major chaos.  It came out at the right time after the Mad Cow craze in the UK and it still sends chills down my spine watching the movie.

If you are in the mood for a stunning horror movie, one that shows a once vibrant metropolis, brought down to a ghost town by an infectious virus, then prepared to be scared by 28 Days Later.  The amount of accolades that the movie received is well deserved and the fact that it is held to high standards in the horror movie community is something of note.  If you haven’t seen it, rent this immediately.  Danny Boyle created a stunning movie, beautiful cinematography with the gritty look of the digital video cameras and a compelling story with characters you are vested in from the start.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

One Response to Movie of the Day – 28 Days Later

  1. Pingback: Movie of the Day – 28 Weeks Later « Another Plot Device

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