31 Days of Horror: 28 Days Later

jenny markle takes over to talk about one of her favorite horror films…

There are only a few days left until Halloween! This means we are getting awfully close to my three favorite Halloween films. Today, however, was chosen specifically for someone who doesn’t particularly like horror movies but the ones she does like shows that she has good taste when it comes to horror. Since today’s film is her absolute favorite horror film of all time, I thought I would pass todays review of 28 Days Later onto her. So, without further ado, I present to you today’s guest writer, Jenny Markle.

As Ann mentioned, I am not by nature a horror movie fan. What I do have an appreciation for, however, are films that evoke emotion, characters you connect with immediately, and a story so layered that days later I find myself still pondering. Director Danny Boyle does a fantastic job of creating such a paradox. The look of the film is gritty, nightmarish, and dark, and I can’t go any further without mentioning the music-essential to the depth and the immediacy the visuals suggest.

Essentially, there was an accident at the chimp lab and a virus (named Rage) is released. Transmitted through blood it affects the nervous system within 20 seconds. The result is your sweet little old grandma becomes a savage-tear-your-body-limb-from-limb monster before you have time to get a good head start. Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up 28 days later from a coma to find London empty and rotting and his first encounter with this “zombie” occurs in the one place he thought he could find refuge.

I put the word zombie in quotations for a very important reason. Note that they aren’t actually zombies despite the fact I mistakenly call it a zombie movie. This isn’t a film about people rising from the dead and feeding on flesh to survive. This is a film about an almost automatic change into a creature whose only instinct is rage and whose only goal is to rip and rupture, not to feed, which makes them unique.

Eventually, Jim meets up with tough, yet very pretty Selena (Naomie Harris), huge hearted, father figure Frank (Brendan Gleeson, one of my favorites), and Hannah (Megan Burns) who is the quick thinking, ingenuous one. The four of them make an incredible team, and despite the instinct to trust no one, they eventually trust each other. They really have no other choice. A repeating radio signal gives them coordinates and the only option is to head where there is a possibility of others, food, and a chance to rebuild. Here is where the story intellectually takes you somewhere else. Yes, it is very gory and yes, many people you don’t want to die do, but what makes this movie stand out to me despite all of that, near the end of the movie you wonder who the monsters really are.

The final scenes are breathtaking and drastically different from the beginning. Instead of empty London streets, littered Piccadilly square, and piles of putrid bodies, we end with a lush countryside, thriving vegetation and a hopeful and heartwarming vision of life repeating. The movie spawned a sequel, 28 Weeks Later, and a few graphic novels, but 28 Days Later is a movie that stands perfectly on its own and is the only movie I get excited to see every October with Ann.

Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80's action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.