28 days later

The virus is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS passing through the blood, saliva and body fluids.

Infection passed through BITING or SCRATCHING.

It takes less than 20 SECONDS to become infected.

Symptoms are of extreme RAGE/ AGRESSION.

Fatalities caused from INTERNAL HAEMORRHAGING.

The infected are drawn to SOUND/NOISE.

The virus can only be eradicated by KILLING ALL INFECTED VICTIMS.

There is NO CURE.
( taken from a sign posted in London. )

Naked dude wakes up in the hospital. Hospital’s empty. He goes out. Street’s empty. All of London’s empty. The whole damn country is a wasteland. Corpses everywhere. Rot. Flies. And zombies! While Jim (Cillian Murphy) was in a coma, a mysterious virus has wiped out most of England, causing the infected to turn into mindless enraged beasts. There are some survivors, but only a few. Badass zombie-slayers Mark (Noah Huntley) and Selena (Naomie Harris), caring father Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and his daughter Hannah (Megan Burns)…

“28 days later…” is kind of like The Omega Man but shot in the minimalist style of The Blair Witch Project, which rather sucks. I hate digital video, especially when blown up on the big screen. You lose all the detail and texture and beauty of celluloid. You do get used to it, especially in a film as intense as this one, and I guess one could argue that this shoddy almost-documentary look enhances the this-is-really-happening feel, but I still think 35mm would have been better.

Still, this is a powerful film drenched in dread and fatalism. It’s not as much scary as it is sad. Oh, it is scary, scary as hell, but you never forget that these zombies were just people minding their business before they were infected. There’s much sadness surrounding the survivors as well, as they wonder whether it’s worth it to stay alive just to stay alive. This is much more thoughtful than what the horror genre usually offers. Beyond the thrills and gore, the film explores the darker corners of the human soul. “People killing people”, is that such an abnormal occurrence? This is not a mere ‘us versus them’ situation, there’s a constant sense that everyone has the potential to turn into a monster, even if they don’t get infected. This is particularly apparent through the disturbing twists of the last act, which I won’t reveal.

Danny Boyle’s films are usually overwhelmingly stylish, even when they depict gritty events, but here Boyle has discarded nearly all forms of show-offy art direction and camerawork (but assembling another killer soundtrack featuring Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Grandaddy and Brian Eno) and we can see that his skills reach further than just flashy visuals. “28 days later…” alternates utter gore with lighter moments, short gasps of humor, warmth, calm, beauty even. The characters are hastily but convincingly sketched, and we feel involved in all that they struggle through. This is one ruthless flick where no one is safe and even lead characters can be brutally slaughtered. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a major release this ballsy and unpredictable.