28 DAYS LATER - Complications Ensue
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I watched about half an hour of 28 DAYS LATER, which was all I can take. Ironically, I had to stop watching because it is so effective a movie. Most horror movies are barely tongue in cheek. You're not really supposed to be horrified. Just have your scary bone tickled.

28 DAYS LATER is horrifying. Scary as all get out. And it's the quiet moments, where the dread sinks in, that are the worst. You start getting to like people, while knowing that probably one of them, at most, will make it to the end of the movie.

If you like horror, this one is just as good or even more powerful than DESCENT.

But I'm not going to watch any more of it, because I don't have to.

Labels:

13 Comments:

I don't usually like horror movies, but I thought 28 Days Later was fantastic. I saw a little of the sequel, which looked far better than most sequels with different directors usually do. I will probably end up seeing the whole thing at some point.

One thing that made the original so good is that it's really a character study set inside a horror movie. You care about the characters and feel for them, so when something happens to them, the stakes are a lot higher for the audience.

By Blogger Tim W., at 1:46 PM  

I happen to love horror movies. I thought 28 Days Later was decent but also a disappointment from what I was hoping for, based on all the buildup. I didn't really like the way it was filmed, and I thought the script lost touch with reality in the second act, once the soldiers came into play.

I saw 28 Weeks Later at the theater and actually liked it more than the original. Again, I didn't really like the look of the action scenes, and thought that the storyline was a little ridiculous.

Both films have several intense and scary scenes for sure, but neither left me with the feeling that I had just seen a great movie.

Both are quality ventures though, and are much better than most horror films.

By Blogger jeffbush3, at 3:27 PM  

I'd say at this point, 28 Days Later is my favorite of the zombie films. Even better than the original Dawn of the Dead, which I really love.

By Blogger Kody Chamberlain, at 4:35 PM  

fraidy cat...

By Blogger wcdixon, at 7:20 PM  

wouldn't call it a horror flick.

By Blogger Allen, at 2:47 AM  

... and you didn't even get to the third act, which is when things get really horrible.

By Blogger Oli, at 3:57 AM  

i agree with tim.w - the characters in 28 Days Later are so much better fleshed out than a typical ten-little-indians horror that each death was awful to watch. i was exhausted by the end. (and glad that Boyle and Garland went with a fractionally more upbeat ending than they'd originally intended.)

what i really - enjoy's not the right word - appreciate about 28 Days Later is how the horror, from a national level right down to each character's personal level, is brought about by simple human need. depressing, yes, but more compelling and disturbing for it.

i read the script for 28 Weeks Later and it looks to be as horrifying as the first. i'll uh, i'll see it when i'm ready.

By Blogger d f mamea, at 4:38 AM  

28 Days Later -- loved it.
28 Weeks Later -- hated it.

The sequel just turned rather ridiculous about half an hour into the movie.

Sunshine (by the same guy) had a similar problem. First 2/3 of the movie -- Oscar material. Last 1/3 -- bad C-movie horror.

By Blogger Elver, at 7:40 AM  

Funnily enough, we just had a similar conversation thread over at my blog re: 28 Days Later vs. 28 Weeks Later and the very similar (yet very different) Resident Evil. Some of the comments were surprising I thought, esp. over the prologue at the beginning of 28DL.

By Blogger Lucy, at 8:26 AM  

Wow, finally. I've been walking around for months telling people how terrifying this movie is. So many people didn't get into it. I know this is a writer's blog, and I know the script doesn't make sense at times, but give credit to the director, who staged some the most horrific scenes ever put to film.

And for those who didn't like it, you at least have to give the opening sequence credit. When Robert Carlyle left his wife behind, man WOW what an opener.

By Blogger TREV, at 7:56 PM  

I loved that in 28 DAYS LATER, things went from bad to worse not because the characters acted like idiots, but because they acted like selfless, decent human beings. Every time they tried to make things better, they just made them worse. THAT is the way to make a horror movie!

By Blogger Andy Diggle, at 10:58 AM  

I think you hit the nail on the head re: "Tickling your scary bone."

And, in a probably-less-intentional way, tim w. (#1) illustrates that problem with modern horror/perceptions as well: "One thing that made the original so good is that it's really a character study set inside a horror movie." Why would those categories be separate?

The franchise machinery of the 80's left horror absolutely crippled as a genre, to the point where good horror films are - at best - described as "not really horror" or "psychological thriller"; and at the least they are good "for a horror film."

It's a real shame that such an incredibly flavorful genre is probably the genre taken least seriously in virtually all circles, on all levels.

28 Days Later was a fresh departure from that. It was intended to borrow very heavily from Romero's original Dead trilogy - and it shows.

For the record, I thought Weeks was a perfectly good movie in its own right - though it should be said that it's an entirely different kind of story than Days. Despite their shadowy ubiquity, the Infected are all but non-present in the moodily post-apocalyptic Days.

Weeks serves as a thematic prequel: rather than giving us the intensity of the outbreak by showing us the scars it's left on the characters in Days, it just shows us the scars being made.

At the very least, I am incredibly happy that Weeks never once stopped for Hollywood mercy: every time when a character would be spared for the sake of plot or pity in a more mainstream movie, they are simply (and brutally) chewed up, or left behind, or worse - just like all the extras.

Nice.

By Blogger Emanuel, at 3:18 PM  

Yes... strangely the most effective horror films offer both character complexity and a sense of realism.

By Blogger Sean Hood, at 11:51 AM  

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