Monday, July 22, 2013

Ask JKM a Question: 28 Days Later (2002)?

A regular reader, Jez, writes:

"Any chance of you doing a review of Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later'? Personally I think it's a brilliantly scary movie with a strong political philosophy, and with a few scenes in particular that elevate it far above just about any other 'zombie' movie since 2000.

A lot of critics and friends of mine are quick to dismiss the final third of the film in a similar manner to the way people dismiss the end of 'Sunshine'. For me though, Jim 'becoming' a zombie and killing all of the soldiers due to his anger is precisely what the movie is about; as Henry says around the dinner table, it's just people killing people, same as it always was. The chimps in the opening scene were infected with 'rage', and it is rage that drives Jim to do what he does, infection or no infection. In the end, he's indistinguishable from an infected as evidenced by Hannah clubbing him over the head.

There are a few shoddy actors (Hannah in particular is absolutely dire) but overall I can't think of many films in the last 15 years that succeed both intellectually and as pure horror to quite the same extent. I would love to hear your thoughts."

Hi Jez, I have been a big admirer of Danyy Boyle's films -- and especially 28 Days Later -- for many years now.  I feel that all of your thoughts on the film ring true, and most of the criticisms against the film tend by fannish complaints about fast-moving zombies, or some such thing.

But, I will indeed review the film -- tomorrow morning, at 6:00 am -- and present my full thoughts about it. Thanks for a great question, and for reminding me of a great film.


  1. Kinda off topic, but sort of not really seeing as how we're talking zombies...


    Didn't you do a review of THE DEAD (2010) not very long ago? For some reason I would have sworn you did but now I cannot find it. Did I just imagine it? Pretty good movie, by the way...

    1. Hi Count Zero,

      I did review The Dead, and you can find the review here:

      I agree. It was a really good movie, and an inventive twist on the zombie formula!


    2. Thanks! Don't know why none of my searches were bringing this up. Just watched it the other night on a whim and was really taken aback by how affecting (and effective) it was. A nice surprise.

  2. Jez, good question, I look forward to reading John's review of this scary London/U.K. based film. Excellent setting that makes it more interesting.


    1. Hi SGB:

      I hope you enjoy the review. I agree that the London setting, and the "empty city" vibe of the movie make it all the more effective...

  3. Anonymous12:41 AM

    Can we please cease calling the infected in 28 Days zombies? They are not reanimated corpses. They are infected humans, the same as in The Crazies. I thought I was gonna have to wait for the 2000'a Decade book for this review. Anticipate greatly!

    1. Hi Trent,

      I think the "zombie" handle is just for convenience. It's a hell of a lot easier when writing a review to note that technically these guys aren't zombies, but then refer to them as zombies or zombie-like, rather than Rage-Infected Maniacs, or whathaveyou...


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