I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I decided to watch 28 Days Later. I have had it for a long time, but never got around to watching it until now. I was surprised by how “old” the movie looked when it started. I could have sworn it was a rather recent film, but it took a quick trip to IMDB to verify. Although this was filmed in 2002, it seemed to me to be from the mid 90’s. I’m not sure if that was due to the DVD transfer or what. Anyway, once I satisfied my curiosity, I continued on watching the movie.
The main plot begins with a group of animal rights activists trying to free some monkeys that were being experimented on. They were being studied with infections of a “rage” type virus. Of course once one monkey was freed it promptly tried to kill one of its rescuers and they were immediately infected. The time shifts forward to “28 days later” where we see the main character, Jim, waking up in a hospital room. It is completely abandoned with no sign of life to be found. The hospital is trashed and he begins to gather food and then sets out to search for others.
The first few minutes remind me of many other post apocalyptic movies with the same type of “hellooooo? is anyone out there?” type scene. After a little while, he comes across a church full of bodies. He’s then attacked by a crazed zombie type and during his escape he’s rescued by a couple of survivors. That covers about the first 10-15 minutes of the movie. The rest involves a search for other survivors and tracking down a safe haven that is broadcasting on a radio frequency.
This reminded me a little bit of I am Legend, except that instead of there being essentially one survivor, there are a handful. The character development was pretty thin at first, but once Selena (one of the rescue party members) and Jim start talking about what their priorities are, it started to pick up. It was interesting to see Selena grow from a “me first, no matter the cost” type of person, to one that was actively looking out for others. On the flipside, it was interesting to see Jim essentially turn into a complete badass with no qualms about doing what was needed for survival. The movie was pretty good, but not great. I’m interested to see how the sequel 28 Weeks Later turns out.