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28 Days Later... (2002)

A 2003 horror film directed by Danny Boyle.

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A scary and thought provoking film.

  • Jun 3, 2003
Pros: Thought Provoking and at times disturbing.

Cons: Plot can wander.

The Bottom Line: A scary film at times that makes you think.

It has been said that people can walk a thin line between sanity and madness. What is one to do then when there is nothing to check the madness and it is unleashed in its purest most animalistic form without a hint of sanity or compassion?

This is the problem facing Jim (Cillian Murphy), who awakens in a hospital to find himself alone and the city of London deserted. Jim has been in a coma for the past few weeks and comes to learn that a virus has decimated the country turning people into rage obsessed killing machines who’s blood and saliva infects people 10-20 seconds after contact turning them into the same.

The virus was the result of a lab experiment that was unleashed by some well-meaning but stubborn activists who ignored the lab staff’s warnings that the animals they were trying to free are highly contagious and very dangerous.

Eventually Jim finds some survivors named Selena (Naomie Harris), Frank (Brendan Gleeson), and his daughter Hannah (Megan Burns), and they team up for survival from the hordes of rage-infected hordes that often hide by day and seek out victims by night. With basic need such as food, water, electricity, and security in short supply, the group heads off in Frank’s taxi towards the direction of Manchester based upon a repeating radio broadcast that offers sanctuary for anyone who can hear it and encourages them to travel to the location.

Up to this point, 28 Days Later” is a very intriguing and gripping film, what follows next is a bizarre yet frantic chain of events that takes the film into new directions, and leaves portions of the film open to interpretation by the audience.

The survivors eventually meet up with a small unit of military men who while promising protection from the hordes, soon find themselves facing new dangers and dealing with unforeseen enemies who are every bit as deadly.

While I will try to avoid exposing any more of the plot then I have, I found the film to be a very ambitious and unsettling work by Director Danny Boyle, who made a name for himself with such classics as “Trainspotting” and “Shallow Grave”. 28 Days Later” is at times a very violent film that shows the inner rage that many believe lurks inside all of us. It seems that Boyle is drawn to stories that show the darker side of the soul and that how ordinary benevolent people can be driven to extreme actions when pushed. I found the climax of the film to be very gripping in how it showed the duality between rage that is unchecked and that, which is contained by the rules of society and restraint. But when society breaks down, the urge to survive and procreate can drive a person to their basic animal instincts. It is an interesting duality for this gripping and disturbing film. Boyle is to be commended for taking what easily could have been a typical zombie movie and producing a film that not only scares the audience, it makes them think.

3.5 stars out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach


International Association of Film Critics


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More 28 Days Later reviews
review by . March 27, 2011
A mutant virus turns Britain into a wasteland.
28 Days Later...is a film about a mutated bio-weapon that is released from a lab that infects people with a nasty virus that turns them homicidal. The isle of Britain has become quarantined and only a few unlucky survivors must fend for themselves as there is no one around who can help them. One survivor Jim (Cillian Murphy) was in the hospital during all of this and is awakened to a nightmarish Hell. During his travels around London, he meets up with a few others and try to get out of the city …
review by . October 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      28 DAYS LATER      I have argued it for years and it seems that there are still people out there who think this is a zombie when it is clearly not. This film is no were near being a zombie flick as the INFECTED are not dead they are just INFECTED with a virus that was put into monkeys. I don't know why people think of this as a zombie flick but what ever. This is indeed a great film and when it was released one of the scariest films in recent years. …
review by . February 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
28 Days Later: Now with MOAR BLOOD!
   It must be prefaced that I'm a wimp with an overactive imagination who cannot watch the likes of The X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries beyond sundown. Horror is not my genre of choice, though I have viewed my fair share of horror, slasher and thriller flicks over time. My experience lies with classic horror (Poltergeist, The Exorcist, The Omen, Night of the Living Dead, etc) and quasi-spooky cheesy nonsensical low-budget nostalgic filler (Evil Dead, The People Under the Stairs, A Nightmare …
review by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I'll start by confessing that I'm not a big fan of Horror films. Don't get me wrong, they are cool. I just haven't seen too many of them. So, I'm kind of a newbie to this genre. This one came highly recommended by numerous friends and acquaintances. So, I decided to check it out.      What stood out the most to me in this one was the way it was shot. It wasn't shot on 35mm film, like most films and a lot of the shots were done hand-held, instead of using …
Quick Tip by . October 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I had a lot of fun watching this when it first came out and still it is fun to watch right now, that's just me. Is this a perfect movie, that is up to you but I have a great time watching it.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Please don't call 28 Days Later another zombie movie. This British cult favorite will keep you enthralled the entire film as you put yourself in Jim's post-virus shoes.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This is possibly my favorite Zombie film ever. It is just awesome
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie scared me, we talk about this happening in the real world and it made me think too much. If you like that watch it;0
review by . May 06, 2009
This movie got a lot of attention like the Night of the Living Dead. I recently rented it and was greatly disappointed. This movie deals with a virus that makes people almost like mutant crazies that go around attacking other people. A group of people wander London trying to get back to "civilization." While the characters in George Romero's classic were interesting and you really felt for them, these characters are dull and sometimes act crazy themselves. The British accents were very difficult …
review by . June 23, 2006
I had seen this film a few times and it's surprisingly good. "28 Days Later" is a genre-defying film wrapped in a shoebox budget. The key to keeping the sci-fi horror genre alive is to make sure the material and techniques the filmmakers present is at least competent, at it's average creative, and at it's best something that we haven't seen before or haven't seen in such a style or form. George A. Romero did that back in prime of film-making, bringing forth one of the most memorable trilogies of …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #111
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


The director/producer team that created Trainspotting turn their dynamic cinematic imaginations to the classic science fiction scenario of the last people on Earth. Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up from a coma to find London deserted--until he runs into a mob of crazed plague victims. He gradually finds other still-human survivors (including Naomie Harris), with whom he heads off across the abandoned countryside to find the source of a radio broadcast that promises salvation. 28 Days Later is basically an updated version of The Omega Man and other post-apocalyptic visions; but while the movie may lack originality, it makes up for it in vivid details and creepy paranoid atmosphere. 28 Days Later's portrait of how people behave in extreme circumstances--written by novelist Alex Garland (The Beach)--will haunt you afterward. Also featuring Brendan Gleeson (The General, Gangs of New York) and Christopher Eccleston (Shallow Grave, The Others).--Bret Fetzer
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Director: Danny Boyle
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: June 27, 2003
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Alex Garland
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2003
Runtime: 113 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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