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28 Days Later

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United Kingdom · 2002
Rated R · 1h 53m
Director Danny Boyle
Starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns
Genre Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction

Twenty-eight days after a killer virus was accidentally unleashed from a British research facility, a small group of London survivors are caught in a desperate struggle to protect themselves from the infected. Carried by animals and humans, the virus turns those it infects into homicidal maniacs -- and it's absolutely impossible to contain.

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What are people saying?

Billy Donoso Profile picture for Billy Donoso

'28 Days Later' is among my top five favorite zombie films and one of my favorite horror films. Its premise is frightening enough: London has fallen to frenzying, running zombies. A lot of zombie movies think that, itself, is the greatest horror of the genre, to be overwhelmed by hordes of the undead suddenly and unmercifully. But Boyle shows us that the greatest dread is an inversion of the predator-prey dynamic in a far wider-scope than merely being eaten alive. Empty cityscapes, unsustainable supplies, and man-turned-against-man show the nearly unimaginable reality of man losing its position as the apex predator to another animal. It is lonely and frightening, but succumb to any sentimental version of these emotions and you will die. The London Bridge scene is one of the greatest in cinematic history, creating some of the most dramatic tension I've ever seen that culminates in absolutely nothing, an absolutely existential moment in an otherwise grounded story. Characters offer interesting reflections on the politics after the apocalypse although they, themselves, truly feel more like pawns in the political game Boyle has created than players of the game themselves. '28 Days Later' is an exciting foray into a shell of our world and paved the way for many of the interesting developments in the zombie apocalypse genre that followed it.

What are critics saying?


Washington Post by Ann Hornaday

Unrelentingly grim, unremittingly gross and unforgivably unattractive, 28 Days Later is an orgy of troubling images and bestial sound effects.


USA Today by Claudia Puig

The look of the film, shot on digital video, is haunting and gritty. The cleaner, prettier look of 35mm would have detracted from the immediacy and sense of foreboding created in this artful blend of sci-fi and pseudo-realism.


New York Daily News by Jack Mathews

[Boyle] shrugs off any intellectual pretense to rollick in a dead-on scare fest. On that level, 28 Days Later is indeed a frightfully good time.


L.A. Weekly by John Powers

The movie is mercifully uncontaminated by the smarty-pants self-reflexiveness that has sucked the lifeblood from nearly all post-"Scream" horror pictures. Clever enough not to be too clever, Boyle and Garland play their story straight -- they just want to give you the creeps -- and, by so doing, bring the undead back to cinematic life.


Austin Chronicle by Kimberley Jones

There’s gore, all right, although the real terror lies in the tease, and the often dark, herky-jerky DV format ratchets up the tension to an almost unbearable degree.


Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland plumb the violence of the mind with slashing wit and shocking gravity. Happy nightmares.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Rick Groen

Around about the third act, the picture does what no self-respecting virus ever would -- relents, turns confused, and lets our immune system fight back with thoughts of its own, with distracting cavils about the logic of the plot and the slightness of the themes.

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