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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 09:24 GMT
28 Days Later: Your views
28 Days Later
The film is set in a deserted London
28 Days Later is the latest film from Danny Boyle, director of Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and The Beach

The film, set in London and Manchester, is about a deadly virus which is released from a laboratory and decimates the entire population of the UK, except for a handful of survivors.

"This is that rare thing - a horror film which manages to be serious-minded and thought-provoking - while at the same time scaring its audience stupid," wrote BBC News Online's Caroline Westbrook

But what did you think?

Is it one of the year's scariest films? Or just another run-of-the-mill shocker?

replace with contents BBC News Online users had their say.

I thought that the marketing of the film was brilliant. I did enjoy the film but not as much as the way it was promoted.
Mikey, UK

I saw the film last night and it's still spooking me a day later. It's good because it's thought provoking, and as it's set in Britain the feeling of 'what if that happened for real?' is all the more shocking. The sense of helplessness and desolation in the first half was incredible - a very scary and powerful film.
Anna, UK

I saw the film on Saturday, thought it was the best this year. Got to work on Monday and had an argument with a colleague about what sort of plane that flies by at the end of the film. Does anyone know what plane it is?
Rick, UK

While I can only commend Mr. Boyle and the cast in the attempts to save what is really a poor script, I must point out that this has been done better by others both in terms of literature and film. While the opening sequence is extremely well done the cliches start to pile up about 30 minutes in and never really stop. Omega Man does this better as does Day of the Triffids. The film lacks suspense that cannot be made up for by clever cinematography. Please don¿t get me wrong the production team is extremely talented but they haven¿t, in my opinion, captured the essence of the collapse of society in the manner handled by Nigel Kneale¿s Quatermass or any of the Romero Night, Dawn or Day of the Dead Series.

The primary flaw is that Jim (the central character) and his other survivors are living in the largest urban area in the UK yet there are only a handful of infected individuals in London. With the proposed speed of infection being 10-20 seconds per individual they would either face a legion of the insane or one of two extremely murderous individuals. The second flaw is that the film does not address the psychological problems that the survivors would have developed. The film is really the Swiss Family Robinson Vs Day of The Triffids and neither come off any better. Read I am Legend by Richard Matheson this is a far better sci-fi survivor story.
Mark, Scotland

Naked person wakes up in a hospital, walks outside to find the streets deserted due to the fact that the entire population has been killed off due to a zombie inducing virus. Sound familiar? Obviously 28 days later will very likely become a cult classic, however it's all very well comparing it to films of this genre but would it surprise you to hear that the opening sequence of 28 Days is very much borrowed from the final sequence of Resident Evil picking up perhaps from where it left off! I know that it's only a very specific type of person that would leave a message here in the first place but Hollywood blockbusters don't just rip-off cult movies - it can happen the other way round as well. No film plot nowadays can be claimed to be entirely original so a lack of one doesn't mean a film isn't worth going to see otherwise we could pass off every film for at least the last decade of being unworthy of a viewing
Katie, UK

Saw it an hour ago and couldn't believe how bad it was. I like Danny Boyle as a visual filmmaker but his choice of scripts has been very bad lately. I mean the film was visually very good as always with Boyle's films and having seen the 2 mini-dv films he did for BBC2, I was expecting something just as good. But the story was a big let down and I don't think it will be a hit anywhere because simply the story sucks. I mean the bicycle courier turning into Rambo at the end of the film was completly ridiculous and laughable. I wish Danny Boyle could find a great script so he can finally show us that he is still a great filmmaker. I can't wait for the follow up to Trainspotting. I am sure that we will get Boyle back on form in Porno.
N. Abassi, UK

Excellent film, deserves better press than it's getting. Probably the best film I've seen in the cinema this year!
Olly, UK

See this film! The mixed reviews reflect the fact that you feel as the movie unfolds that this is an interesting premise, you think about how weird and relatively easy it would be for civil society & all the structures we take for granted to break down (remember the fuel strike) and you start to want more than can be delivered in 110 mins. But how many films prompt you to think? Not many.
Mike, UK

Sounds remarkably similar to Terry Nation's 1970's BBC series The Survivors!! Did his estate receive any money for this? If not, he should send round his other creation - the Daleks! Can anyone come up with an original idea?
Rob, Ascot

I saw it last night, what a great film! The English setting makes it a bit closer to home, makes you wonder what if!! A great thought provoking film, I'm glad to see the director didnt make it stereotypically British for the Americans, excellent film Go and See it today!
Ryan S, England

I personally wouldn't class this as a scary film. The plot, although very good and thought provoking, was not in the least bit 'jumpy' However, I really liked the director's idea on making the zombie like people (the infected) fast, rather than the slow moving zombies we have seen in previous films such as Resident Evil. Although not particularly scary, this is a very good film, and comes out with much more credit than certain reviews have given it.
Michael, United Kingdom

The relatively unknown cast perform well, allowing you to believe they really are survivors who are ordinary people, from an ordinary place and an ordinary time (today!). However it is Mr. Gleeson and Mr. Eccleston who stand out as the most interesting and pivotal characters within the film. On the other hand, Danny Boyle has tried to be a bit too cool and contemporary, especially as Alex Garland wrote the script. Mr Garland is now so elevated 'hip-wise' in terms of writing he can write a script which is not great and still get it filmed! Maybe it's not aiming to be a horror film, but by releasing it near Halloween and the way the marketing has been going, the audience will surely expect more scares than this.
Kunal Patel, Ireland

That's all very well, but did anyone notice the uncanny resemblance to Apocalypse Now? The ending shows a man, seemingly mad and half naked, on a murder spree, bringing closure to the 'madness' that has engulfed these victims of an apocalyptic atmosphere Britain. I think Danny Boyle's reflection of Apocalypse Now is ingenious because most people do not notice it!

On a larger scale, the trip down the river in Apocalypse Now compares exactly to the journey north in 28 Days Later, as they encounter numerous situations along the way and continue their journeys into madness. The grittiness of the film (a characteristic of many British films) was last seen to great success in Dogs of War. I wonder whether Danny Boyle actually saw that film before completing 28 Days Later? No criticisms at this stage (the day after seeing the film)! I thoroughly enjoyed it and think Danny Boyle is a masterful film-maker. To all those people who know and 'understand' films, go and see it now! P.S. Are Jonathan Ross' opinions of films a reflection of a mainstream audience's and not that of a 'proper' film-buff?
Aaron Reader, United Kingdom

The first two thirds of the movie is excellent,but again there are some problems when Danny is trying to create the same atmosphere during the remaining scenes (that was the main problem with (The Beach).
Sina, Iran

If you call yourself a fan of horror, go and see it

Shea Bennett, England

Well I thought it was a load of rubbish. It looked really good, it receives loads of great reviews, but it makes no sense. It's almost like the budget spoiled the film e.g. virus infects people, they turn into rioting nutters. They bite people, the bitten turn into rioting nutters. Fine. But London is empty. Either everyone is dead, or a rioter.....thing is, there's no rioters in the streets and there are no corpses. The rioting 'Infected' don't eat where are the bodies? Cheap film, gets very stupid very quickly. One man takes out a crack Army Squad. Naff, steer clear, go see They instead.
Leigh Sherval, UK

Just one point my friend pointed out -why was Jim naked in the hospital scene? Surely patients wear hospital gowns if nothing else?
Gill, England

Feeling a little put off by some of the negative reviews, I decided to go and see it anyway. These 'critics' must have been reveiwing a different film because the one I watched was superb. Sure it has its faults and it definitely isn't everyones cup of tea but it is one of the best, most original and disturbing horror films I've seen in years. Absolutely deserves to be a hit but even if it's not I'll bet it becomes a cult classic. A great film.
Phil, UK

Just saw the film and found it brilliant. I thought the scenes in London were excellent and I can't emphasise enough how good the music was in parts. In my opinion definitely one of the best horror movie of this year.
Kieran Dryden, Scotland UK

I thought it was quite entertaining but it wasn't scary in the slightest. The first half of the film was excellent but it seems to lose the plot towards the end and the last 20 minutes was bordering on farce. Storyline was very weak but it was still an interesting film.
Campbell, Scotland

A great idea, but not entirely original. I only hope this will encourage interest in Geoff Murphy's The Quiet Earth; a 1985 classic about a man who wakes up to find he's seemingly all alone on the planet.
Alex B, UK

This is the best zombie film ever made - yes, it's better than Dawn of the Dead. Where 28 Days Later truly succeeds is in the way that Alex Garland has managed to avoid virtually all of your standard horror, and particularly zombie-horror, stereotypes. Clearly, the zombies themselves are very different. While they are not truly zombies per se, this isn't the walking dead, or the 'undead' - for all intents and purposes this is a zombie movie in the sense that they are a focused, bloodthirsty pack of post-humans who are intent on consuming the 'living' and, at the same time, spreading the infection by happy accident. And these guys are fast. They're running and jumping like a person, but it's a tireless, focused, obsessed, hungry one. It's very much a return to the hunter of old - but this time it's man hunting man. With skewed odds.

For the most part, the film lacks the endless, somewhat tiresome gore of the Romero films. Whilst the DEAD trilogy will always be a fan favourite! , and rightly so, you do wonder if, on occasion, much like the Italian horror movies of the 1970s, that this is more about how graphic the horror can be, as opposed to, say, 'lesser' elements like the plot or the characterisation. Sure, there is some gruesome stuff in 28 Days Later (I'll say one word: eyeballs) but for the most part it's nicely balanced and it feels like it was necessary. (My only exception to this is the scene with Jim and the boy; I felt this was pointless, both in Jim's reasoning for entering the diner, but also for the end result.)

If you call yourself a fan of horror, go and see it. You won't be disappointed. If, however, you think that Scream is the cutting-edge of the genre or list Dude, Where's My Car? in your favourite film top five, then give 28 Days Later a miss. You¿ll find it slow and boring and too gory and all the other repetitions used by people who don't like good horror movies. There are no teenage, screaming nymphomaniacs. There is no scene where a girl decides to investigate the strange noise in the basement (alone) only to meet her not-so-unexpected demise. There is no A-list cast or muscle-bound superhero type to save the day. This is about ordinary people in an extraordinary situation; how will they cope? Can they cope? For two hours of near-perfection, you get to find out.
Shea Bennett, England

I was bitterly disappointed at a film that I had been eagerly anticipating. Yes, the first 20 minutes were intriguing, and held my attention, however after that I found the movie descend into cliches. No ongoing tension, just the infected appearing when expected. The compound setting, particularly the people and personalities inside, did not convince me as believable at all. To me, this movie represented a B Grade horror flick, no more.
Melissa, UK

The concept serves as a gruesome reminder of how close we live to the brink of the totally horific

Phil Calver, England

At last a modern horror movie which does not rely on irony. Boyle took the old concept of post apocalypse and made it his own. Note to self - do not turn to the army for help.
Emma Edward, England

Derivative rubbish - about as scary as last night's Eastenders. Avoid the the plague. (please forgive the pun)
Mark, UK

May I discuss the film's content rather than its position as a piece of film? The concept serves as a gruesome reminder of how close we live to the brink of the totally horific. The Black Death in 14th century Europe came to mind. Thought provoking...
Phil Calver, England

Just came out of 28 Days Later, shaking and pale. The horror is hugely effective, with a really nasty, sharp-edged intensity to it, but the images that are lingering are the empty landmarks, the buckets on the roof, the picnic in the ruins... like a love letter to England. It is so wonderful to see such a thoughtful, artistic and vibrant film being made in Britain. Maybe I should start playing the lottery.
John, UK

Boring + predictable - scary x uncomfy seats = an Unhappy Stuart
Stuart, UK

It's a real shame that in directors of Boyle's standard cannot get sufficient funding to shoot on film! DV maybe a future media but it has to be High Definition. Not tv quality. The film was ruined by this lack of detail from the cameras.... and the final third (what was that all about?)
Nicholas Savage, UK

This has to be one of the scariest films I've ever seen. I saw it last night and was worried about going to sleep later on in case I had bad dreams! I think what makes it so scary is that the story is very disturbing. The whole time you're watching it fills your mind with chilling thoughts of what it might be like if it really happened. Go and see it - but only if you're brave!
James Ollerenshaw, England

Absolutely terrifying! The English setting and British actors bring a sincerity to this film that is very unsettling!
Steve, UK

This is truly a terrible film, I walked out after the first 20 minutes. Total lack of originality in the plot, the beginning was taken straight from Day of The Triffids.
David Bell, UK

I can't understand why the critics have to be quite so sniffy about this film - it's entertaining, ambitious and British ! Seems to me that some critics can't see past their ingrained prejudices against the horror/science-fiction genres. I see the film has been coming in for criticism for being too derivative. Is this an accusation not better made against the countless Hollywood crime thrillers that are churned out month after month ? I also see somebody's suggesting that the film is a rip-off of The Stand - I'm sorry, but do you honestly think Stephen King originated this staple sci-fi concept? Yes, the idea has been seen before, but so what ? How many truly original plots are out there in the cinemas at the moment? There's nothing wrong with the filmmakers taking a familiar plot outline and giving it a twist, particularly as they provide us with a visceral, chilling film.

If we must play the spot the influence/bragging rights game, I'd rather believe that the sources were closer to home than The Stand. In particular, I would point people in the direction of 70s BBC programme "Survivors". This also related to a killer virus that wiped out the vast majority of the UK population (albeit less violently !). Themes of some of the first season episodes, in particular Garland's War and Corn Dolly, are also echoed in the later sections of the film (without wishing to spoil the plot). Who cares though when you've just seen a British film with such vigour !
James, Scotland

Better than your average ghost'n'ghoulie film at this time of the year

Simon, UK

The film was great apart from two things; 1) It was never clearly explained or proven how the whole UK could stop in 28 days. This is not a major flaw though niggled and could have been explained in a flashback sequence through the eyes of the sergeant major later on in the compound. Secondly did anyone notice how the clock time on Big Ben changed, how could this happen? I mean no government or army but still the clockman at BB still set the time!! Finally most people have commented on the London scene at the beginning (and with good cause - great vision Danny), but for me the view of Manchester on fire was equally amazing. If a film deserves critical acclaim then this is it. I still feel that it would make a good perhaps better radio play (come on Radio 4!!)
Philip Levy, uk

Better than your average ghost'n'ghoulie film at this time of the year. Worth seeing for brilliant shots of deserted London alone, with bonus of excellent performance by Christopher Eccleston. However, the plot and film was let down by a 'denouement' straight out of a famous five book!
Simon, UK

Yes there are the similarities to Day Of The Triffids and Day of the Dead from TV and film. The response to that? I was in school when those were on (aged 9 and 13 respectively) and I don't care. There is only one flaw with this updated Living Dead film- one of the actors in the latter half starred in a soap and that shatters the disbelief I had previously suspended. Other than that, it's compelling, properly paced and deserves to do well.
K Henry, England

Given all the other crazy schemes that lottery money gets wasted on, a film I might actually want to watch and might, over its run, make that money back, is perfectly good. Anyone who could do better than 28 Days Later and that includes the worldwide distribution deal, I can't wait to watch your film. Otherwise quit the backbiting if you wouldn't watch a horror film anyway.
Flynn, England <

Goodness me! What a nerve-wrenching way to spend £6! The DV takes a while to get used to, but that is more than made up for by the horror of location-familiarity. Worth admission price, for sure.
Dan Hall, UK

I saw this film last night....brilliant! It did exactly what it intended and scared the living daylights out of me! It's far superior to the dull hyped up films the States have had to offer lately. The scenes of the deserted London at the beginning immediately got my attention in an 'oh-no-this-is-in-my-country-and-it's-too-close-for-comfort' way. Great stuff!
Raveen, UK

Good premise. But then I remember the premise when it was originally done by the good old BBC in the series called Survivors by Terry Nation back in the seventies.
Andrew Clarkson, UK

Excellent performances by all involved, and never a dull moment

Tom, Republic Of Ireland

Great fim, really scary! A movie with zombies which is thought-provoking! Directing is superb and acting is brilliant from main characters. All British cast and set in London. Def worth seeing!
Maria, Scotland

An absolutely fantastic film and this is from someone who does not like horror movies. Although I think Mike Bartlett was having a laugh because there are plenty of moments that'll make you jump.
Ross McLarnon, Glasgow

The film was impressive when you compare it to every other horror film made in the last 10 years. There are no gimmicks like Blair Witch, no pointless jumpy bits (which audiences are really starting to tire of - it's like the directors these days can't create atmopshere so they have a pot plant fall and smash with an over-the-top sound just to get a scare) and there are no pathetic 'Buffy' style sequences (i.e. second half of Jeepers Creepers). The film does have flaws, but it is the best horror film I have seen for a long time that sits outside the 'psychological thriller' genre.
Mike Bartlett, UK

This is Danny Boyle's return to form! The 'speedy zombies' are the scariest thing to hit our screens for years! Excellent performances by all involved, and never a dull moment! This will be HUGE
Tom, Republic of Ireland

Day of the Triffids meets Dog Soldiers. Good fun, worth seeing.
Dave, London, UK

I saw 28DL last night and was bored after the first 20 mins, when London deserted scenes ended. Poor script, plot, terrible acting and dialogue. Not scary, not worth seeing. Just a waste of lottery tax cash. Go see All or Nothing.
Mark Baker, UK

Great film (of two halves...). The actors (in first section especially) do well to look convincing in a fantastical setting. Digital film looks fast and violent, and the sound (and music) are superb.Some super touches in the detail (e.g. employing athletes to play the zombies so that they looked strong!) Borrows from "The Stand" (a little), "Day of Triffids" (a little) and Resident Evil (allegedly quite heavily from its last 10 mins.) Saw it a preview attended by Danny Boyle and Alex Garland, who had perhaps intended more nuanced plot and character development than are readily apparent in the film. Still, a good film, and an excellent horror.
Jim , UK

This movie is very good but the plot is rather similar to Day of the Triffids

Jennifer, England

I have not seen the film as yet and doubt I will. Having read the review the film is remarkable similar to Stephen King's the Stand who also have a handful of survivors after a virus is released from a labratory. The Stand also has a safe haven for the survivors who turns out to be sinister. Not very original is it?
Sonia, UK

I came out of the cinema thinking 'what was that all about' but over the last 24 hours since I saw it I've realised it is possibly one of the best horror movies I've seen for years. Makes you think. I like that.
David Anderson, Northern Ireland

This movie is very good but the plot is rather similar to Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham - man awakes in hospital to find himself one of few survivors or disaster - is faced with moral dilemmas of what to do - help mankind or save himself. I enjoyed it greatly and found it both scary and thought-provoking but I think the film industry should re-visit classic sc-fi novels by authors like wyndham and heinlein and consider turning them into movies without the 'dumbing down' which is traditional to sci-fi movies these days. Movie-goers are not all stupid and as 28 Days Later tries to show; movies that make you think can be just as good as big-budget low-brain ones.
Jennifer, England

Saw the film last night and was entertained and frustrated at the same time. The opening 45 mintutes or so was truly entertaining and frightening but sadly towards the end the pace dragged and the conclusion was more than a little contrived. The premise was good and the scenes in London early on were eerie. I do feel the 'Infected' could have been put to more use in the second half of the film and I personally felt that the 'compound' sequence towards the end was a little over the top. Still, it is required viewing purely because it is a British film made with British cast and crew and offers constructive thinking whilst watching, which is more than can be said for most of the rubbish that Hollywood seems to churn out these days.
Philip Loveland, UK

Promises much but fails to deliver. Which is a shame because the premise is good and the first half of the film is excellent. The photography is superb and there are some brilliant sequences. Unfortunately the second half lapses into post-apocalyptic cliche and leaves you feeling that it could have been so much better.
Dave, UK

Haven't seen it yet, but no matter how graphic it is, the imagination is far more disturbing

Ryan, UK

I quite enjoyed this movie, although I think the director made a mistake in using DV. The 30' high screen made the 'film' looked like a cheap camcorder had shot it. Every flaw was magnified. This was a fun scary movie, but most people should wait for it on video.
Graham, UK

Haven't seen it yet, but no matter how graphic it is, the imagination is far more disturbing. When will people learn from Hitchcock? Not quite knowing or seeing is far more frightening!
Ryan, UK

I enjoyed this immensely. By far the most menacing film I have seen this year. I thought 'the infected' were very well done. The attack sequences are vivid, threatening and powerful I was just disappointed there weren't more of them. In the first half of the film there are three such scenes in the space of about twenty minutes. During this period a number of couples left the auditorium. People of a nervous disposition may not enjoy this film.

I also thought the scenes of an abandoned London were awesome. Very haunting. The long shot of the Petrol Station going up in smoke in a silent, lightless cityscape was particularly chilling. I'm a fan of most of Danny Boyle's work and he has a talent for portraying the macabre. This is something that he demonstrates extensively in 28 Days. I would suggest he do more horror. He definitely has a talent for it. The film is a refreshing change from the anodyne and formulaic horror that tends to come from across the Atlantic.

To some extent I thought the film lost some of its energy and desolation in the last third. It's a shame the focus moves away from London and includes a greater number of characters, although Chris Eccleston plays a good part. This is a minor criticism though. If you like Romero's work you're going to love this.
Michael., UK.

Boyle is brave to produce this faux B movie when the idea has been so completely covered in literature. His direction is almost faultless. In fact he highlights a couple of key, wooden performances that, in lesser films, might go unnoticed. This is a tidy entry to Boyle's stable. But next time Danny, make sure the talent has more life than the stiffs.
Mark Pritchard, GB

See also:

01 Nov 02 | Entertainment
28 Mar 01 | Entertainment
28 Feb 00 | Entertainment
10 Feb 00 | Entertainment
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