28 Days Later

Perhaps not the best holiday film, nonetheless I enjoyed 28 Days Later. I watched it while the spouse (who hates scary and gory movies) was otherwise occupied. I liked it a lot. Despite bursts of extreme violence, it was actually less violent than I was expecting. Most of the horror is from the prolonged feeling of dread. I actually found the shots of the empty London and the burning Manchester in most ways more scary than the zombie attacks. Creepier, at the very least.

I’ve always been a huge fan of J. G. Ballard, and his particular take on the British disaster novel. During the run of Reality Break, I don’t know how many interviews I worked Ballard into, and this movieI also interpret through that lens. There is a point late in the movie where the protagonist Jim makes a choice (no spoilers here), and his choice is straight out of a Ballard book. I liked the ambiguity of never knowing if this is a worldwide disaster or strictly a British one, never knowing how much hope should be held out. It had a few moments I thought very Romero-esque, such as the bits in the mall and grocery store. Having watched all three endings, I have to say the sunny one that is the “main” ending is my least favorite. I prefer the one marked as “alternate theatrical ending”, which is also the grimmest of the three. Tomorrow, before I return the DVD I’ll explore the making of documentary and the commentary tracks.

All in all, I find this a fine addition to the canon of zombie/disaster/apocolypse films.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.