Unrelentingly grim, unremittingly gross and unforgivably unattractive, 28 Days Later is an orgy of troubling images and bestial sound effects.
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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.
Shows a rather arrogant disdain for its audience in between occasional flashes of flair.
[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.
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.
Theres 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.
Like his makeshift societies, Garland's tantalizing set-ups tend to unravel in unsatisfying ways.
Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland plumb the violence of the mind with slashing wit and shocking gravity. Happy nightmares.
Boyle's ingenuity with the camera gives this fraught journey plenty of menace and pizazz.
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.