31 Days of Halloween – Day 28 – 28 Zombies Later
28 Days Later made zombies cool and even used a montage in 7-11 while doing it. 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead have a lot in common, especially because they start the same way. Jim and Rick both wake up in the hospital, then discover the world of zombies like a new initiate, learning the rules about evading zombies in a hospital gown. I think the best thing about this movie is the director, Danny Boyle. His style is all over this film and many of the shots are unconventional.
I think a lot of the reason why this movie was successful is that it felt contemporary and had good performances. Many of the zombie rules were thrown out, which helped put the unexpected back into zombie movies. However, 28 Days Later still contained a lot of the Romero strengths, like a core group of characters and a battle for survival.
The movie is pretty much an exploration of human nature, marred only by the ending. However, the ending pretty much concludes the whole thing in a straightforward way, like you might expect, with an action climax. It’s alright, I guess.
Although Rick Grimes is a police officer, he’s still an everyman like Jim, the main character of 28 Days Later. Jim is an even better example of a common man, being a bicycle messenger. I think he’s embarrassed to explain his job early in the movie.
Selena is played by Naomie Harris and she does a great job as a strong woman. She also serves as the only exposition the movie has, and she serves up the rules of the “rage” virus in about 30 seconds. She is the strongest one in the group and saves Jim’s life, which he later thanks her for. She has the opposite take on survival, which Jim and Selena clash about later in the movie.
The one shot that confuses a lot of people is the one I like the most. After a short montage in a 7-11, Jim and the group take a car and zoom into a Monet painting. I think it works as an expressionist transition. Danny Boyle puts music to good use during these moments. His experience was in music videos, so that’s probably where his creativity comes from for these kind of shots. I think the video quality contributes to the gritty and realistic feel of the movie, which works best with Boyle’s style.
The ending needs a little help, and I’ve heard that Boyle was trying to decide between a few options. They actually filmed a sad ending and some others, including the optimistic ending they went with. I think it’s alright, but it’s nothing special. It’s not an ambiguous ending or an ending where everyone ends up dead, though I imagine that one is more overdone than what we got. Oh well.
In all, I think this movie works very well. Even when zombies aren’t chasing people down, the scenes work because of good performances and Boyle’s exceptional music, setting, and style. Yeah, I like this movie a lot. I wouldn’t change the pace either. There’s something that makes me think it is just well-made and it feels like a good story. Yes, zombies CAN run!
31. Poltergeist (1982) vs Poltergeist (2015)
30. Blair Witch Project (1999)
29. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
28. The Wicker Man (1973) and The Wicker Man Remake
27. Tales from the Darkside, the Movie (1990)
26. Saw (2004)
25. The Prophecy (1995)
24. The Hills have Eyes (1977)
23. House of the Long Shadows (1983)
22. Creepshow (1982)
21. Phantasm (1979)
20. The Omen (1976) vs Damien: The Omen II
19. We Are Still Here (2015)
18. The Guest
17. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
15. The House that Dripped Blood (1971)
14. Army of Darkness (1992)
13. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
12. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
11. Theater of Blood (1973)
10. House of Wax (1953) vs House of Wax (2005)
9. Hellraiser Inferno (2000)
8. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
7. The Changeling (1980)
6. The Eye (2002)
5. The Hitcher (1986)
4. Paranormal Activity (2007)
3. 28 Days Later (2003)
2. Suspiria (1977)
1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – This review will be published October 31st!