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28 Days Later

28 Days Later is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland[?]. The film is his own re-interpretation of the 'Zombie flick' genre, with a similar concept to the 1970s film Rabid[?] and a storyline that will be familiar to George Romero[?] fans. However, as reviewer Kim Newman wrote in Empire[?], "[t]he power of the film is not that it hasn’t been done before, but that it hasn’t been done recently."[1] (http://www.empireonline.co.uk/reviews/review.asp?8496)

28 Days Later is set in England at the end of the 20th century. The film features a soundtrack provided by Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Synopsis Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers.

The opening scene shows pictures of riots and police brutality. As the camera moves, we see that a primate is strapped down in front of television screens showing these images. A group of animal rights activists break into this laboratory, where primates are being held as test subjects; their intent is to 'liberate[?]' them. However, a scientist or laboratory assistant discovers them, and warns them that the primates have been infected with "rage" that is in their blood and saliva. Not heeding this warning, they begin to open the cages.

When the first cage is opened, the female activist is attacked by the chimp inside, resulting in her infection. The scientist then insists that she must be killed, or the virus will spread.

It does. The next scene is "28 days later": the protagonist, who we later find out is called Jim, wakes up naked in a hospital, in a scene that is quite clearly intended to be a parody of the opening shot of the primate strapped to a bed. He is in London, but the streets are empty. (In the largest urban centre in the United Kingdom, the filming of this was not easy to achieve: the London scenes, showing derelict streets recognisable to most people who've lived in or visited London, were shot in the early hours of the morning over a period of about six months.) Jim spends some time wandering the empty streets shouting "hello" (reminiscent of one of the opening scenes of George Romero[?]'s Day of the Dead) but soon discovers, from a newspaper headline, that London has been evacuated.

However, the city is not as empty as it first appears. On entering a church, Jim discovers it full of bodies that he observes from a balcony above the nave of the church. Again, he says "hello?" But this time he is met with a response: one of the heads below turns quickly to face the sound, mouth open and gaping. A door begins rattling and Jim approaches cautiously; a seemingly deranged priest comes through the door and makes his way towards our protagonist, who doesn't yet know about the virus, and so doesn't react to the approaching priest until he is very close. He hits the priest with a shopping bag of food he picked up earlier, but is then apologetic. The priest crawls along the floor desperately, reaching towards Jim (this scene might remind Resident Evil players of the zombies in that game).

Realising that something is seriously wrong with the priest, Jim flees the church -- as he does so, a number of "infected" chase him. As he continues to run, petrol bombs start flying towards him and his hunters -- several of the infected take direct hits from these and are set on fire, slowing them down. We are shown the petrol bomb throwers: two characters with gas masks on. They evidently realise that Jim is not infected, and take him to cover while a petrol station, which they've rigged, explodes, apparently killing the "infected" that were chasing him. Then he follows them as the run down stationary escalators into the tube, until they reach a small shop where the two are staying.

After the two unmask, they introduce themselves as Selina and Mark (was it?). Jim tells them that he was a courier who had been hit by a car, and woken up in hospital to find an uninhabited London. The others explain the situation: a virus that filled people with rage caused riots all around the country, and almost all of those who haven't been infected are dead or have fled. Before the radios stopped broadcasting, they say, they heard reports of infection in Paris and New York.

On hearing this, Jim insists that he goes to find his parents. When they arrive at his home, however, they find his parents have committed suicide with a note saying

with end less love we left you sleeping
now we are sleeping too
don't wake up x

The three of them -- Jim, Selina and Mark -- stay the night at this house. Jim, understandably shocked by what he has discovered during the day since he woke, can't sleep and lights a candle to look around his house, looking at pictures on the fridge. However, some "infected" see this light and crash through the window, attacking him. Mark is first up, shouting "fight!", and manages to kill the infected -- but he becomes infected himself. Seeing this, Selina kills him swiftly.

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