|28 Days Later (2003)
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns
Director: Danny Boyle
Although director Danny Boyle's ("Trainspotting") new film "28 Days Later" was released nearly a year ago in the U.K., and available on bootleg months before the U.S. release, it is still a fresh summer entry. It's also hard to call this a zombie film because the monsters in this movie aren't really zombies, but Doyle truly reinvents the horror genre with this intellectually political and intensely horrifying film.
"28 Days Later" begins with four activists freeing from a secret lab test chimps that are contaminated with an artificially constructed disease referred to as "rage." True to the film's title, 28 days later London has spiraled downward into an eerie, post-apocalyptic wreckage of rotting corpses, with very few survivors and rumors of how far the damage has spread.
One of the few surviving Brits is Jim (Cillian Murphy), a bicycle messenger who wakes up from his own four-week coma to discover a city filled with crazy, zombie-like monsters. Jim gets little help from Selena (Naomie Harris), a renegade who looks out only for herself, but she allows him to tag along nonetheless. The duo are later joined by a taxi driver (Brendan Gleeson) and his daughter (Megan Burns), both of whom are still trying to cope with the recent loss of their wife/mother.
Doyle's brilliant direction takes the group all the way from London to a small mansion housing a group of soldiers hell-bent on recreating the human race, all while they continue to run into the frightening monsters referred to as "the infected." Doyle repeatedly throws his characters into dangerous situations, not only to survive the aggressiveness of the zombies, but also the dangers of human nature.
"28 Days Later" is a brilliant and fresh horror film that is both scary and ingenious. While the film quality isn't the greatest due to the use of digital film, the lack of stars and its classic throwback to the early zombie movies creates a great genre film for both horror fans and those looking for something different.