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28 Days Later

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: 28 Days Later

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris
Director: Danny Boyle
Rated: R
RunTime: 112 Minutes
Release Date: June 2003
Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Megan Burns, Brendan Gleeson, Christopher Eccleston, Alex Palmer, Christopher Dunne, Toby Sedgwick, Emma Hitching, Jukka Hiltunen

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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