28 Days Later… (2002) movie poster

(2002) dir. Danny Boyle
viewed: 07/12/03 at Fremont Theaters, San Luis Obispo, CA

A really enjoyable “zombie” flick from England, 28 Days Later… is a fairly ruthless and exciting. I am a fan of the “zombie” subgenre of horror. It’s one of those weird little subgenres that seems to lend itself to social commentary almost easily.

Since 28 Days Later… isn’t really a zombie film (rather more like a mad rabies film), perhaps it gets to step out of some of the genres conventions. Still, it’s the apocalyptic, hell on Earth world that has a palpably “close enough” to reality that it hardly seems out of the realm of possibility. All of the death and mayhem arises from government-cultivated diseases that break out and turn people into crazed, bloodthirsty killers with faster than Ebola infections, and faster than the average zombie running ability.

There is a ruthlessness that shows from the first, as a character who seems like a principal is quickly killed off by another of the principals. It’s just enough to keep one from feeling as though they know where this film is going. End the end, the film isn’t as ruthless as many of the classics of the zombie genre are. There is still some hope for the world (and maybe some room for a sequel). Apparantly, though, this was an ending that was added on after a test audience rejected the original, more pessimistic finale…so I have heard.

Perhaps anytime is a good time for a good zombie film, but given the state of the world, the madness and chaos that feel like they loom all too close, and with the range of impending disease and such becoming all the more frightening, this film seems a true film of the present, a true sampling of genre film, indeed.