I’ve had reocurring zombie dreams since the age of about 8 or so when I saw a brief scene from Return of the Living Dead that scared the ever living piss outta me. Once I got accustomed to the gore in movies, I started watching zombie flicks to help offset these dreams, and came to love this genre of films. Unfortunately, most recent attempts at zombie flicks have really sucked ass.
But last night, I saw 28 Days Later, and it looks like that could all change. Holy SHIT!!! That was a GREAT movie! If you like zombie flicks, and I mean the truly good ones that know what the genre’s about (that being the nature of humanity and suspenseful atmoshpere, and not just people in nasty makeup), you’re going to find this movie one huge blood spattered treat!
(possible spoilers ahead). The premise is rather simple: Scientists are working on a bizarre, highly contageous virus knowns as Rage by testing it on chimps, and a group of activists break into the labs late one night to set the chimps free. Well, things go bad, and 28 after the event, unconcious bike courier Jim wakes up from a coma in an empty hospital. The next 10/15 minutes or so have some spectacular shots of Jim wandering around a vacant London looking for people, scavenging, and trying to figure out what’s gone on. The mood and setting is just incredible! slowly, the music starts up in the background ever so quietly, that you don’t even recognize it’s there until the build up comes to an explosive climax.
And then Jim meets some survivors. Of course, this is after he meets a few not so pleasant inhabitants of the city. What’s nice and refreshing about this film is the zombies themselves. The “infected” as they are called, are not you typical slow moving, dimwitted undead, but still living people who’ve been turned into raging mad, violent, base-of-human-nature beasts who move quickly, and want nothing more than to tear any uninfected apart. The same thing as your typical Romero zombies in essence, only these guys are faster, stronger, and much, MUCH more terrifying. For those of you who’ve played the Resident Evil Remake, think of the Crimsons.
The Infected actually get a rather small amount of screentime, but what little you see of them is plenty to get you jumping out of your seat and squirming in your chair. What’s great about this movie is the points without the zombies, when you see the way people have pushed themselves to survive. The cold heartedness that drives others to “just survive”, or the compassion and love that gets others threw in such a terrible time, and the effects such interractions between groups has on one another. The characterization is great, the scenery is wonderful, and the mood and tone is perfect.
Overall, I’d definitely give this movie five stars! If you like zombie movies, you need to get out and see this film. If you don’t, that’s okay, because it’s still a great horror film, and you should definitely go out and see this movie. Then buy a shotgun, just in case.