Monday, October 30, 2023

2K Replay: 28 DAYS LATER

 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Breakthrough Male Performance” (Cillian Murphy) at the MTV Movie Awards. He lost to Shawn Ashmore in X2: X-Men United. They chose poorly.

• Best Scene/Moment (tie): The sequence at the beginning with Cillian Murphy, alone wandering around a deserted, plague-ridden London and the scene where Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, and Megan Burns shop in an abandoned supermarket.

• Best Song (tie): This is tough because 28 Days Later has an amazing soundtrack. I’ll go with “A.M. 180” by Grandaddy and “In the House - In a Heartbeat” by John Murphy as my favorites.
• Best Merch: A “The End is Extremely F*cking Nigh, 28 Days Later, Movie Sticker 10-Pack…” for $9.99. These would be good to wear at job interviews and on New Year’s Eve.

• Director Grade: 28 Days Later was directed by Danny Boyle. Boyle is one of those directors who I never consider to be one of “my guys” but then remember how much I like when I look at their filmography. The first movie of his I saw was Trainspotting, which went over my head at the time (I was a teenager and preferred the soundtrack to the movie), but I’ve grown to really like it and the underrated sequel (T2 Trainspotting) in the years since. 28 Days Later was the first Boyle movie that I connected with at the time of its release. Some of my other favorites of his work are Sunshine, 127 Hours, and Steve Jobs. He does have a few stumbles or movies I don’t connect with, but I appreciate that every Danny Boyle movie feels like it has his personal stamp. Overall Grade: B+

• Double It with This 2003 Movie: Identity

• Year 2003 Movies to Trailer Before It: Cold Creek Manor, Gothika, The Order

Draft Day or 28 Days Later? Tie.

• Mall Movie? Probably not. This is fancier, art-house Fox Searchlight horror. It might get to the mall at the end of its run.
• Only in 2003: A “zombie” movie from Fox Searchlight Pictures.

• Scene Stealer: Brendan Gleeson.

• I Miss: Danny Boyle/Alex Garland collaborations.

• I Don’t Miss: The alternate ending where Cillian Murphy’s character dies. The remaining survivors are so likable and have been through enough distress by the end of the movie that I’m glad Boyle chose to end the theatrical version of the film with a hopeful ending.

• 2003 Crush: Naomie Harris.

• 2023 Crush: Naomie Harris.
• What I Thought in 2003: I didn’t see 28 Days Later in theaters because it felt like homework to me for some reason but did end up really enjoying it when I caught up with the movie on DVD around Halloween 2003. I remember really liking the lead actors and the family dynamic they built together.

• What I Think in 2023: I hadn’t seen 28 Days Later since 2003 (despite owning the DVD which I’m glad I do because it’s not easily available on streaming) and was really surprised how much I loved the movie on this viewing. It was better than I remember and is now probably my favorite Danny Boyle movie. What’s especially impressive is I’m not overall a big fan of either zombie or post-apocalypse films but the protagonists in this movie are easy to care about and the movie just kicks ass plain and simple. It has a great soundtrack, detestable villains, and lots of suspenseful set pieces.


  1. I remember seeing this in a packed theater opening night. When Naomie Harris hacked Mark up the reaction of the audience was incredible. This movie was not fucking around.

  2. I remember de soundtrack. It was awesome