28 Days Later (7/10 Rating)
Released June 27, 2003 (US)
For rent on Amazon
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
R: Strong Violence and Gore, Language, and Nudity
28 Days Later…20 years later…holds up really well. This film is one of the first responsible for bringing back public interest in zombies since the late 1970s. Along with the popularity of undead video games Resident Evil and House of the Dead as well as their film counterparts, 28 Days Later would be followed by a sequel, 28 Weeks Later, along with other films like Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004 Remake), Warm Bodies, World War Z, Zombieland, and more. We also got the record-setting The Walking Dead television series. 28 Days Later brought a fresh take on the genre with a future Oscar winner at the helm. Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, The Beach, Sunshine, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) took a more realistic approach to the zombie outbreak, pulling inspiration from real-world pandemics and epidemics. Here, the undead are FAST and simply full of rage, and this makes for an intense horror film. Boyle also leans into the drama, dealing with many of the emotions and outlying factors that might come from a catastrophic event like this. Cillian Murphy (Nolan’s Batman Trilogy & Peaky Blinders) got his break as the lead in this film, playing Jim, a man who wakes up in an empty hospital to find London void of life. He is eventually introduced to the zombies, the result of a laboratory outbreak which causes human beings to be filled with unstoppable rage when they are exposed to infected blood. Eventually, he finds other survivors, and the film follows them as they journey to some form of safety. However, zombies are not the only horror that exists in this broken society. The gore is intense, and the jump-scares come silently, but the dramatic storytelling sets this movie apart from others in the zombie genre. If you don’t do zombies or gore, skip this one. If you enjoy an intense, well-made zombie movie, this should be at the top of your watchlist. Check out the sequel and keep an eye out for a third, 28 Months Later, currently in pre-production. Also, be sure to get to the theater next month and catch Cillian Murphy as the lead in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, releasing July 21, 2023.
Also released in June of 2003: Hulk (6/10), The Room, Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle, Rugrats Go Wild, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, 2 Fast 2 Furious (4/10), From Justin to Kelly, Hollywood Homicide (follow @jlucia85 for these reviews and more)