27. 28 DAYS LATER
Director: Danny Boyle
As anybody who lives in London or has done so it the past will know, it is very rare to find any part of the central area completely deserted. Yes, even at 3am when the clubs have kicked out you’ll find the night buses busy and the place often buzzing with activity. This fact makes you wonder how they managed to film the opening scene of Danny Boyle’s horror classic 28 DAYS LATER.
The plot sees a group of animal activists invade a laboratory with the intention of releasing chimpanzees that are undergoing experimentation, infected by a deadly virus that causes rage. The naive activists ignore the pleas of a scientist to keep the cages locked, with catastrophic results. 28 days later Cillian Murphy’s character ‘Jim’ awakes from a coma in an abandoned hospital to find London completely deserted – not a living soul to be seen. Apparently the film-makers used attractive young ladies (including Danny Boyle’s daughter) to politely ask early morning commuters or clubbers wandering home to wait until filming had stopped before carrying in with their journey.
While the plot of the movie wasn’t groundbreaking or highly original what it does magnificently is unleash the terror from the ‘zombies’ who are infected by the rage virus, to great effect. Since the outbreak of the virus the entire country is either dead or have been evacuated, leaving only the bloodthirsty infected and a small group of survivors (including our protagonist, Jim). What Boyle’s movie does that differs from more traditional zombie movies is instill a fear into the viewer. Not only for the well written characters you come to root for, but also the fear of how you would feel if your entire family and indeed population had been wiped out. The fear of loneliness without hope…