This year marks the 15th anniversary of Danny Boyle’s gritty twist on the zombie genre, 28 Days Later – or, at least, its worldwide theatrical release. Even by today’s standards, the film holds up extremely well thanks to its unique spin on a genre that, at the time, was growing stale, and Boyle’s invigorating directorial style. The story follows Jim after he awakens from a lengthy coma in a hospital bed. Unaware of the situation, Jim wanders hopelessly across a deserted London, soon to discover a country plagued by infection and chaos.
28 Days Later was a significant turning point for both the horror genre and British filmmaking. Deviating from the typically slow, lumbering zombies pioneered by horror maestro George A. Romero, the film allowed the infected to be crazed, terrifying monsters willing to chase you endlessly for a bite out of your neck. As well as this, it showed that British cinema had the potential for exciting genre films capable of finding a worldwide audience. Throughout the film, Boyle uses gritty digital cameras to give the cinematography a worn-out, grimy aesthetic that both elevates the horror and wisely makes use of their low budget. The acting is mostly excellent across the board, apart from a couple of stiff moments here and there. Unfortunately, the film somewhat shits the bed in its final act, with a rushed plot twist that comes out of left field. Regardless, the film is a brilliant take on the zombie genre that has stood the test of time