Thursday, 17 May 2012

28 Days Later - dvd review

Here's how you know a film is going to be good: you're at the cinema, watching the hours of trailers they show before the film you paid to see. And one trailer sticks in your head during the rest of the ads and through the next two hours. That's what happened to me a few months before 28 Days Later was released. The image of a man hiding somewhere (which turned out to be a shop in a tube station) while Brian Eno plays over the scene and a line comes up on the screen...The Days Are Numbered...well, that stayed with me for months and I still love it now.

Owing a fair debt to Romero's first few films as well as works such as The Day of the Triffids, 28 Days Later is a British apocalypse that's far removed from the cozy catastrophes of earlier films and books. Bike courier Jim wakes up in an abandoned hospital and discovers London is just as abandoned. Something is very wrong here: the overturned bus, the piles of money, the utter lack of people, the newspaper stall covered in notes and photos, the snarling priest coming after him. Soon after Jim learns a virus destroyed society during the month he's been in a coma after an accident. This virus fills whoever it affects with Rage, the all consuming need to kill. As Selena, a fellow survivor, tells him - when someone's infected, you've got between ten and twenty seconds to kill them or they'll kill you. Hooking up with cabbie Frank and his teenage daughter Megan, the survivors discover what may be their only chance at safety is...

I'm not telling you. If you haven't seen probably the best British horror of the last ten years, then do yourself a favour and get this in your collection. This isn't just a simple gorefest; it asks us some uncomfortable questions: how different are we to the infected, how close are we, in this world of Me, Me, Me, to tearing each other apart to get what we want, and if we can't (and don't) rely on each other when we're up against it, then do we deserve to survive?

The dvd has a load of bonus features but it's the film itself which is a true classic of horror.


  1. This film was the first time I actually found zombies scary. Though some of the human characters in this film are scarier even than the zombies.

  2. You know that bit early on in the film when...spoilers...........Mark and Selena throw the Molotov cocktails and set a couple on fire - and they keep coming? That scared the crap out of me. The thought of these things still coming even when they're on fire...brr.

  3. This film. This film this film this film. I never find myself scared during horror films but that first scene in the church, and the later scenes in the mansion...brrrr.

  4. That's it. I now have to watch it again.