Saturday, August 05, 2006

"28 Days Later..." review

28 Days Later... (2002)

Directed by Danny Boyle
Writing credits Alex Garland

Cillian Murphy.... Jim
Toby Sedgwick.... Infected Priest
Naomie Harris.... Selena
Brendan Gleeson.... Frank
Christopher Eccleston.... Major Henry West

I was excited going into this movie. Zombies. British. British zombies. End of the world. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is a classic example of over hyped mania. This movie does not reinvent horror. Nor is it terrifying. Nor does it fit into any other adjective spit out by some overpaid blurb writer. This is what it is: Post apocalyptic survivors going from one desolate English town to another while they try to connect with each other. Scares are scarce.

"HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?!"Remember that word. It's the theme of this movie. It's about connecting, dang it! How would you handle the world flipping upside down? What choices would you make to survive? Would you be able to make hard decisions at a moments notice? Like bashing the head in of some drooling, raging maniac? Not a hard choice at all for me. Of course I would. Gladly.

This is not a horror movie. It's a sci-fi thriller that's low on thrills. There are no zombies either. Like Umberto Lenzi's "Nightmare City", they are infected with some sort of virus, (The Rage Virus), and go about randomly attacking people. Unlike "Nightmare City", this movie is not fun at all. All the attacks are shot "Saving Pvt. Ryan" style. Very fast speed. Also, most of the attacks are in the dark so you'll have double trouble actually telling what in the heck is going on.

But the big problem is that the "zombies" are not attacking nearly enough. That might be because the "zombies" are not what this movie is about. It's about connecting, rebuilding, desolation, empty streets, nothingness, no future, dreary musings on life, etc. When you have a horror movie that is not about the horror, that's the first sign that something is rotten.

When the survivors run into the soldiers near the end, the movie picks up a bit. There is some infected action and suspense. But by the end I had had it with this world and was ready for them all to be infected. It would have made the movie livelier. The hype surrounding this movie definitely plays a part in my disliking this film. I don't know what difference it would have made if I had went in cold. My dad saw it with me and gave it a B. He knew nothing about the flick before sitting down to watch it. If you sit down to watch this healthy and hype free, you may think "28 Days Later" is fair. If you've read this review to this point, you're infected.



Anonymous said...

You are a twat, this film is not a
B-movie y are u reviewing it. u write as though u havent really watched this. It was not over hyped, since when it came out, it was given very little advertising. and it is not made to be a complete horror and terrifying film, it is just a survival story.

And do u ever rate a film on its real merits, entertainment values and its creators skills, or does it only get a good mark if you see enough tits.

Shut up.

Dr. Gore ( said...

Thanks for writing. Appreciate your comment.

I must disagree with your assessment of the film's level of advertising. It was hyped beyond belief. I seem to recall phrases like "Reinvents horror" and "Scary as Hell", etc. It was definitely sold as horror. I agree it was a survival story. But not one I enjoyed too much as its horror movie publicity was over the top.

As far as my love for B-movie tits, well, you got me there. They have certainly saved otherwise dreadful movies for me. If this movie had some, it may have also influenced me. But it didn't. Which leaves me to rate this movie solely on entertainment value and I wasn't entertained.

dan d said...

just finished watching this film (perhaps a few years late...) and was curious to see what reviews were out there about the movie...i really enjoyed it. found it frightening AND well written, something i think most horror films sorely lack.

i must say i think your opinion of the movie is "tainted" (pun intended) by 2 things: The original publicity/hype for the film and also perhaps your perception of what a horror film "should be". just because it doesn't conform to contemporary horror movie convention doesn't disqualify it from being a horror film. i grew up on the genre but had grown out of it some years large part do to boredom. most horror films are so stale!!

i myself found "28 Days Later" fresh and worthy of some hype.

the sneering (homo-phobic) snob said...

This movie is rubbish because it is British, plain and simple. Anything British is garbage by definition, never forget that, alright.