Day #186: 28 Days Later (2002)


[From IMDb:] Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

My take:

Don’t quote me on this (seriously), but I believe that 28 Days Later was the/one of the first feature-length movies filmed with a digital camera. This piece of information has stuck in my head, because at the time it came out I can remember being all “NO IT DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT, MAKE IT STOP”.

12 years later, the difference barely even registers. Take that, 19 year old self.

Interestingly, while I think I was more gripped by the brutality of the story as a 19 year old – particularly towards the end – I was less engaged by any of that during this viewing. Part of that’s probably because, let’s face it, with over a decade between now and this movie’s release, I’m probably a bit more jaded/desensitised than I was back then. As much as it felt like a fresh take on the genre back in 2002, though, it’s also a pretty conventional zombie movie/post-apocalyptic storyline, with a few bits of flavour thrown in here and there. So, yeah, it hasn’t aged all that well in that respect.

What really stood out to me this time around was how great the scoring of the movie is. Not to take away from the actors (who are all good), but the music does so much of the work in establishing the emotional tone of the movie that I was actually quite impressed with it.

I do have a problem with the direction they ended up taking with Serena (Naomie Harris). At the beginning of the movie, she knew what the deal was – survival above all else. And yet, despite everything they go through, at a moment where her survival is in question she…hesitates. For no reason that makes sense within the logic of the movie itself. Given all the ways they could have reached the same outcome, it felt a bit cheap to take this particular route.


Still, for all that it doesn’t excite me as much as it might have over a decade ago, the release of 28 Days Later was its own defining moment in the genre. I wouldn’t try to take that away from it.


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