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28 Days Later... (***)
Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Alex Garland
28 Days Later...
 
Principal Cast
Alex Palmer -- Activist
Bindu De Stoppani -- Activist
Jukka Hiltunen -- Activist
David Schneider -- Scientist
Cillian Murphy -- Jim
Toby Sedgwick -- Infected Priest
Naomie Harris -- Selena
Noah Huntley -- Mark
Christopher Dunne -- Jim's Father
Emma Hitching -- Jim's Mother
Alexander Delamere -- Mr. Bridges
Kim McGarrity -- Mr. Bridges' Daughter
Brendan Gleeson -- Frank
Ratings
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

I was going into a convenience store when someone I hadn't seen for years came up to me and said, "Have you see 28 Days Later... yet?"

I hadn't, but after several more people came up to me and started talking about 28 Days Later..., I went. I'm glad I did.

Instead of screen-busting special effects, 28 Days Later... relies on realism and likable characters. It is a nice change of pace. From the buzz, it is a change people are hungry for. Not nearly so many people have stopped me to talk about any of the Summer blockbusters.

My own taste runs to big pictures, from Lawrence of Arabia to Attack of the Clones, but I can appreciate a well-done low budget film, like David and Lisa or 28 Days Later....

The movie is universally described as a zombie picture, though I don't think the word zombie is ever used in the film. "Zombie picture" suggests a film like Night of the Living Dead, or maybe Mall of the Living Dead. That doesn't quite nail it. This is a good horror film. Good horror films are so rare that I have to go back to The Innocents for a comparison. It is not a good-bad horror film, a genre which Texas Chainsaw Massacres epitomizes. In a good horror film, there is very little gore and we care about the characters. In a good-bad horror film, we wait avidly for the next person to get snuffed, knowing that any girl who makes out or, heaven forbid, takes a shower, won't last more than five minutes.

So, are the monsters "zombies"? The monsters are victims of disease, but no less monstrous. And the human monsters are worse, but no less human.

The director, Danny Boyle, became famous with Trainspotting, which had that one great scene, and some good stuff, and a lot of boring stuff. This film is better. And it is much better than The Beach, from the same writer and director, which had serious intentions but turned into a real mess. I'm glad they didn't follow The Beach with a sequel, though the obvious name for the sequel must have been an almost irresistible temptation..

See 28 Days Later..., you'll be glad you did.

While writing this review, I've been listening to the Pete Seeger album Pete. If you feel like being happy for a while, go thou and do likewise.

Copyright © 2003 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.


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