From the previews and trailers and even reading the blurb on the back of the package, one would think that 28 DAYS LATER is going to be a horrifying masterpiece of terror. Unfortunately, except for an unexpected car alarm that goes off in the middle of London, there really isn't anything too frightening about the film. Instead, the movie is basically a hodge-podge homage to the zombie films of the past that offers hope about the state of humanity.
The plot of the film is rather simple. A psychological virus first tested on monkeys is accidently unleashed in Great Britain. It is a highly contagious disease that is passed through the blood and other bodily fluids, changing humans into wild carnavorous beasts that eat raw flesh. The main character of the film, Jim, awakens alone in a hospital bed 28 days after the virus was first unleashed. He wonders through the empty streets of London and eventually meets up with a couple of other survivors who are uninfected. They eventually meet up with a couple of other survivors and in the hopes of meeting other survivors head to a location where a cure to the disease supposedly exists. The people broadcasting the signal are a group of soldiers loyal to their commanding officer. They have a cure, but it's not quite what Jim and the others expect.
For a zombie movie, 28 DAYS LATER really isn't that gory. There really isn't much blood shown. In fact, outside of some foul language and a little violence, the movie is relatively tame. Some will be frightened by the zombies (basically a person's eyes turn red and blood drips out of their mouth) more because of the way the movie is filmed. However, more frightening is the nature of the soldiers and the questions they raise about our own humanity. The philosophical and psychological questions that are raised after encountering this band of mondern mauraders is more chilling than any physical violence caused by the infected.
As mentioned earlier, 28 DAYS LATER is a homage to zombie movies of the past. I couldn't help but be reminded of THE OMEGA MAN and DAY OF THE DEAD while watching this film. Influences from 12 MONKEYS to EVIL DEAD can be seen in the movie along with several others.
Overall, 28 DAYS LATER is a fairly enjoyable movie that's not to scary to watch. My favorite part in the film were the scenes filmed in the empty streets of London and the scene right before Jim is supposed to be executed and he learns the secret of the disease. The alternate endings that accompany the DVD are interesting to watch and the commentary is quite informative. A decent film from one of the UK's more interesting directors.
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