out of 4
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28 Days Later
Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4
Horror pictures are far from my favorite genre but director Danny
Boyle and writer Alex Garland make this into a doozy! Set in contemporary
London, the story begins in the Cambridge Primate Research Center,
as animal sympathizers inadvertently release rage-infected primates.
Cut to 28 days later, when Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up naked in
a hospital after a bicycle accident and discovers that the entire
city is ominously deserted. Wandering aimlessly, he's rescued from
"infected" attackers by two fellow survivors (Naomie Harris, Noah
Huntley) who explain how a deadly virus has devastated the British
population. Spread by saliva or blood, it immediately incites its
victim into a rabid, rage-filled zombie. "What's the government doing
about it?" he asks. "There is no government," he's told. Indeed, anarchy
reigns. One night, they encounter a teenager (Megan Burns) and her
resourceful father (Brendan Gleeson), who hears on the radio that
there's a safe haven just north of Manchester and loads the nomads
into his big, black taxi to make the harrowing cross-country trek.
When they arrive at the military outpost, they discover a heavily
armed bunker where a megalomaniac (Christopher Eccleston) commands
a few crazed soldiers who vow to protect them, if only to propagate the human species.
Utilizing Anthony Dod Mantle's eerie-yet-dingy digital video camerawork
and editor Chris Gill's image manipulation, Danny Boyle ("Trainspotting")
creates a bizarre atmosphere of grim, grotesque, apocalyptic violence,
and credit John Murphy's music for heightening the suspenseful tension.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "28 Days Later" is a brutal,
gruesome, scary 7. Warning: this is not for the cowardly, the squeamish
or those prone to nightmares.
Copyright © 2003 Susan Granger
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