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28 Days Later

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Megan Burns, Brendan Gleeson and Christopher Eccleston
Written by: Alex Garland
Directed by: Danny Boyle

Director Danny Boyle has managed to take the semi-joke genre of apocalyptic walking dead films and injected it with some well needed scare pheromones, unleashing an actual thriller! 28 Days Later is like an old fashioned drive-in movie that's modern-style scary!

The cast handle the barren doomsday sci-fi setting and their zombie counterparts with a wonderful realism. And there's no gratuitous gore - but what gore is given is devilishly gross and always taken to that "ooowwwwwyyyeeecchhh" stage one looks for in a pedigree horror film.

Story goes… Messenger man Jim (Cillian - um yum - Murphy) had been struck by a car and awakes from a twenty-eight day coma only to find no loving family by his side nor a buxom nurse sponging his torso. There's nothing. In fact the whole city of London is now an empty town.

Well except for some wildly evil looking crazed flesh-hungry zombies! Poor soul Jim and his 98 degree body are first attacked (as a kind of informal introduction to the new world of mayhem) by a rabidly demonic priest and his parish of frothing undead.

Bewildered but dealing, he meets up with fellow living person Selena (Naomie Harris). Her new career goal in this new world is simple, she's hell-bent on survival among the dead.

She allows Jim to join her - and she lets him know she has no qualms about blowing his head off if he gets infected with the zombie virus...she's anything but girly girl smitten - very cool.

Together they get armed to the teeth and set forth on an adventure that ultimately must lead to more live counterparts. And sure enough, en route the duo hook up with a couple more stragglers of the living human kind and have those delightful horror film ballets of the macabre with some more of the walking dead kind. A recorded message is being repeatedly broadcast via radio about "survivors" up north and the motley crew decide this is their mission.

As they get closer to their destination the outlook is looking so bleak they earnestly start to question if they are not face to face with the end of civilization itself! (<- Insert dramatic apocalyptic-like music here please).

The premise has been done a billion times, but cinematographer Anthony Dodd Mantle lights director Danny Boyle's macabre little yarn (written by Alex Garland) in the most ominous way that you're sucked in from the very first frame! The sets are positively devoid of human presence going about their days, which adds to the believability of dread engulfing the cast. A cast that even with the film's end-of-the-world-zombies-gonna-eat-ya stuff manage to make you care about them while fighting off human flesh slurping mutants snarling and spitting up buckets of Saturday afternoon Creature Feature©-like blood. Bravo! And watch for this Naomie Harris who plays Selena, she's one talented chickbabe we should be seeing a lot more of in the future.

Snack Recommendation: A big old poo-poo platter of concession bits!

 

 



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