28 Days Later

Released: June 27, 2003
Budget: $15 million
US Box Office: $45 million
Global Box Office: $80 million

Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Noah Huntley

Synopsis: A small band of survivors fight against zombies and a deadly virus in post-apocalyptic Britain.
Best Quote: "With endless love, we left you sleeping. Now we're sleeping with you. Don't wake up."

Review: 3 stars

Blending traditional horror elements with a dark, post-apocalyptic landscape, 28 Days Later is an intense disaster film that keeps you watching.

Never have I seen a horror movie more driven by its music than 28 Days Later is. As the instrumentals dramatically build, we never know where they are going to take us. Sometimes, it's just a false alarm and the tempo slows back down. Other times, the music takes us right into the next freaky action scene. Not knowing which will come adds to the uneasiness that really gives this movie its appeal. A lot of modern scary movies rely too heavily on jump-out-and-surprise-you moments for their frights. This movie does a fair amount of that, but in a way that is much more artistic and satisfying.

Like just about any post-apocalyptic movie, 28 Days Later relies heavily on the types of emotions images of a derelict metropolis can evoke. I'm not quite sure how they got the British government to agree to it, but the barren streets of London here pull off that effect as well as anyone. A lot of the credit here should probably go to Cillian Murphy, who manages to be both likable and creepy. Usually I'm a fan of having some star power in my disaster movies, but casting virtual unknowns in this movie was really a stroke of genius. We want to feel like were watching a few random Brits who managed to survive this whole plague and that's exactly the feeling we get.

If I had to knock this movie, it'd be for peaking too early and having a few too many one-liners. That said, 28 Days Later is a disturbing movie that appeals to a much broader audience than just horror junkies.