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28 Days Later, 2002

The duo which brought us The Beach in 2000 now brings to theaters a zombie movie that will ultimately change the genre from one predominated by B-movies to one where humanity is examined after society has been removed to help us learn more about how essential socialization is to humanity. If that sounds like something too profound to be jammed into a mere 113 minutes of film, think again. Director Danny Boyle once again uses a novel of Alex Garland as the basis for a movie, but this time the novel’s story is much more effectively adapted into a screenplay, as it is Garland himself who writes the novel’s screenplay. This seems to be the key distinction lacking in The Beach that prevented it from being a more effective movie conversion.

28 Days Later begins with a viral form of rage being released by animal rights activists and then to a nearly empty hospital, populated by only a single patient who has been in a coma for 28 days. After stumbling about in the abandoned city of London, a scene that itself is very unsettling, Jim, played by Cillian Murphy, discovers that some mass evacuation has occurred on the British Isles. Jim eventually stumbles upon what can only be described as zombies, and is saved by a man, and a woman named Selena, who have somehow survived the plague. The man dies after being infected by the virus, leaving Selena (Naomie Harris) and Jim to deal with the aftermath of being two of conceivably, less than twenty uninfected humans remaining in Britain. The journey they embark upon is one that should not be missed by anyone who has ever wanted to see something more significant come from a zombie movie. This pair discovers a great deal about what it is to be human, what humanity is capable of when all authority is removed, and how people cope with isolation.

Brilliant acting from a primarily unknown pool of talent, great direction from Danny Boyle, and an impressively original idea from Alex Garland are combined to form this remarkable film. Perfectly complimenting these aspects is a soundtrack that many will not notice until it is pointed out to them, as it is so fitting to the overall movie that it tends to blend in perfectly. 28 Days Later is a must see for all fans of the movies and a strongly recommended purchase now that it has been released for private purchase.