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28 Days Later

28 Days Later

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Christopher Eccleston, Noah Huntley

Rating: R for strong violence, gore, language and nudity

Runtime: 113 minutes

“28 Days Later” begins with animal activists breaking into a testing facility/laboratory. What they don’t know is that the primates are infected with a “rage” virus that spreads quickly not only between the animals but humans as well.

Fast forward twenty-eight days later (hence the title) and bike messenger Jim (Murphy) wakes up in a hospital ward that’s completely deserted. Things get creepier as he walks through the empty streets of London without a person in site. Jim eventually enters a church and comes upon several people, including a priest, who try to attack him. Fortunately, two people, Selena (Harris) and Mark (Huntley) arrive just in time to save him.

Back at their hideout, the two explain to Jim about the infection that has spread through England and supposedly France and America. They also tell him that once a person has become infected (whether by being bitten or, as we later see, when infected blood enters your system), he or she has twenty seconds before turning into one of the zombie like creatures.

Notwithstanding, Jim convinces Selena and Mark to help him get to his parents’ home. Against their better judgment, they agree, but what they discover isn’t the happy ending that Jim had hoped for. While Jim’s parents are already dead, the trio is attacked by some of the infected. Mike is bitten and Selena decides that she’s not going to wait the entire twenty seconds for him to turn and attack them.

Now alone, Selena and Jim soon find Frank and Hannah (Gleeson and Burns), a father and daughter, who are also uninfected. All of them realize that they are in a desperate situation and when they pick up a radio signal from an Army unit located in Manchester, they decide to take their chances and make the journey. But what awaits them there? You’ll have to watch “28 Days Later” to find out.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know too much about this film when I first watched it and I was pleasantly surprised. “28 Days Later” is a smart horror/action flick that doesn’t insult the viewer’s intelligence with unnecessary gore or absurd situations. The movie also has a unique look due to the fact that it was shot on video.

One of my favorite action sequences is a scene where Frank, Hannah, Jim and Selena are in Frank’s taxi, trying to leave the city. However, the only way out is a dark, obstructed highway tunnel. Halfway through the taxi gets a flat tire and they have to stop in the tunnel to change it. We first see rats running through the tunnel, followed by a few shadows and then a hoard of the infected racing towards them. It makes you wonder how fast could you change a car tire in a similar situation!

The only part of the movie that could have been improved was the ending. Trying not to give anything away, but it seemed to wrap up everything in a neat little package rather quickly.

My Rating: 4 out of 5!

Did You Know? Actor Robert Carlyle was offered the role of Major Henry West. He declined and the role was given to Eccleston. Carlyle, however, did star in the movie’s sequel “28 Weeks Later”.

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