Saturday, 13 April 2013

HFA Review No. 6 - 28 Days Later

This is a review I did for the site Horror Fans Asylum Reviews.

Hello once again my fellow Inmates, and welcome back into the bowels of the Asylum. I hope your stay isn’t too uncomfortable. This week I wasn’t allowed to leave the Asylum due to an unfortunate accident with one of the Inmates, and I have been locked in my room with plentiful supplies of Candy courtesy of the Head Doctor! I was allowed access to a TV to watch an oldie, “28 Days Later”.

“28 Days Later” (2002), was directed by Danny Boyle, and was written by Alex Garland (who has recently written the screenplay for the awesome “Dredd 3D” movie). The film stars Cillian Murphy in the lead role.

The film begins with animal rights activists breaking into a lab to rescue chimps that are being used for experiments. A lab technician warns the activist’s not to release the animals as they have been infected with a highly contagious rage virus. Typically, the activist’s don’t listen and soon regret their actions.

Fast forward 28 days later to a hospital, where a man has woken from a coma. Confused, he takes a look around to find the place deserted. When he leaves the hospital, he finds out that the entire city of London is literally a ghost town. As he explores the city, he comes across a church which he soon finds out is full of infected humans.

After escaping and coming into contact with other survivors, they go on a road trip across Britain to reach a safe outpost, the location of which is being broadcast on the car radio.

When they reach their destination, they find a military base where the officer in charge is none other than Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who). It is at this supposed “safe zone”, that they find that there are more dangerous things in the world than the infected.

Back in 2002 when this film was released, zombie film releases (especially in cinemas) were few and far between. This and another couple of good zombie releases such as “Shawn Of The Dead” and the pretty good remake of “Dawn Of The Dead” changed that. Now the zombie genre is too over saturated with straight to DVD crap, and even George A. Romero has forgotten how to make a good zombie film (come on, admit it!).

But, as tired a formula as it is, zombie films when made right can be very good. What all the great ones have in common is that the zombies become part of the background story and it begins to focus on human relationships. The story for “28 Days Later” isn’t going to win an Oscar, but to me the writer Alex Garland always keeps things grounded in reality and more focused on how the survivors interact with each other and ultimately, prove to be more dangerous to each other than the infected screaming for their blood.

Another thing this film basically started, was running zombies. Gone are the slow paced, shuffling zombies. Instead we get infected people who fire on all cylinders and are very fast, making the idea that a whole country can get overrun all the more realistic. 2004′s “Dawn Of The Dead” repeats this idea, and it seemed to work for that too.

Well suffice to say, I really like this film. It won’t win awards for originality, but the acting is excellent, it can be very brutal at parts, it is quite atmospheric (the scenes with the empty London streets are fantastic), and the story has a realism which few zombie films match (I know they’re not zombies, but infected. But for the sake of argument I’ve decided to put this in the zombie genre haha!).

I give this film 4 needles out of 5! (Finally a good review!)

If you like this sort of film, other films to recommend are “The Omega Man”, “The Last Man On Earth”, and “Day Of The Triffids” (1970′s British TV show which incidentally, Danny Boyle found inspiration from for his film).

I hope you enjoyed your stay at the Asylum, remember just keep running and don’t look back when you leave! ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment