Are The Zombies In 28 Days Later

Bob Roberts
• Thursday, 17 December, 2020
• 8 min read

28DaysLater took the traditional zombie movie horror formula and gave it a fresh coat of paint by changing the location, the tone, and of course, the monster in question. The police would gradually slow the traffic coming from both directions so that filmmakers could squeeze in a few shots using a total of 10 cameras.

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The hospital in question was open during the week but shut on weekends which allowed Danny Boyle and his crew to rent the space for shooting when nobody was around. An extra benefit of this arrangement was that rental fees went directly towards the hospital's trust fund, representing one of the best kinds of business transactions one could wish for.

Celebratory scenes involving the four main characters appeared quite genuine, and a testament to their acting skills, especially given the fact that they were shot on one of the worst days in world history. According to the actors, it felt particularly strange and probably more than a little disconcerting to film happy scenes in the aftermath of the World Trade Center towers going down in New York City on September 11th, 2001.

Filming the London scenes required great care and timing, especially if Boyle wanted to accurately depict the city as abandoned and left for dead. This allowed 28DaysLater to join the grand hall of movies and TV shows based on viral outbreaks.

The scene involving an explosion at the Canary Wharf petrol station was fully scheduled in advance with all the necessary paperwork in question required. Apparently, someone failed to notify the police of the scheduled explosion which led to them scrambling the fire brigade to deal with what they thought was a genuine accident or an act of arson.

Danny Boyle made a conscious decision to shoot the entire film using DV-based Canon XL1 cameras due to the “harshness” of the video. The versatility of shooting with more free-flowing cameras was responsible for getting many of those sharp angles and chaotic shots that helped sell the narrative.

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Danny Boyle and Alex Garland were adamant about 28DaysLater having a layer of social commentary like many horror films often do. Though technically considered a zombie movie, the infected are not actually the walking dead, but living humans affected on a physiological and psychological level.

Garland acknowledges that Day of the Griffins, George Romero's Living Dead trilogy, and The Omega Man were all highly influential works. Hardcore film blunder-hunters make a hobby out of spotting various mistakes in their favorite movies such as Star Wars, and 28DaysLater has one obvious gaffe that begs to be riffed on.

It was a sad time for lovers of the flesh-eating undead, outside the few gems that emerged from the indie horror scene. Continue scrolling to keep readingClick the button below to start this article in quick view.

Directed by Danny Boyle, 28DaysLater presented a post-apocalyptic London, devastated by swarms of single-minded creatures looking to visit death on anyone they encountered. A critical and commercial smash, 28DaysLater announced the triumphant return of the zombie film to theaters.

Hordes of savage creatures roam the landscape, eager to kill anyone normal. In fact, they're technically still alive, and being dead is kind of a requirement for zombies, The rage virus that's infected most of the population causes the desire to commit horrifically violent acts, and gives the afflicted a somewhat zombie-like appearance, but its victims are most definitely not zombies.

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So, all things considered, 28DaysLater accomplishes the odd feat of being a classic zombie movie that actually isn't one. Most recently, Michael helped launch Screen Rant's new horror section, and is now the lead staff writer when it comes to all things frightening.

A FL native, Michael is passionate about pop culture, and earned an AS degree in film production in 2012. When not writing, Michael enjoys going to concerts, taking in live professional wrestling, and debating pop culture.

A long-term member of the Screen Rant family, Michael looks forward to continuing on creating new content for the site for many more years to come. In the classic horror movie 28 days later, zombies are referred to as the infected.

The earliest example of these originated where witch doctors poisoned people into a deathly state similar to a coma. Then an explosion of cannibalistic, mindless, walking corpses occurred in film.

They soon adopted the name zombies in similarity to the witch doctors who made the 'dead' rise in earlier tales. Zombies in general tend to self decay over time and are the undead.

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A virus can also cause humans to turn into zombies and feed on the living. The virus called the rage virus only causes people to get full of rage and either beat a person to death, Snap their neck or infect the uninfected.

Zombies need headshots in order to kill them, Infected can be shot in other places and go down. Majority of the time zombies can't climb, Infected can at fast speeds.

I understand why to the casual horror viewer it would be more easily packaged as a Zombie movie, But it just isn't. The Infected in 28 days later are still humans, As Don in 28 Weeks later hesitated to attack his son, At the end of the movie, And they also have some intelligence.

While the movie fits fairly neatly into the genre (aside from the running aspect, which mainly heightens the horror), the antagonists are not actually zombies. Zombies are categorized as part of the undead family, and the infected are not, nor have they ever been, dead.

They hear a certain tone in their ear and become inhuman, pack-forming entities, that attempt to spread their condition. You can't kill zombie by citing off his hand end letting it bled to death.

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So if they didn't die and come back to life they are not Zombies, just infected. Well, he played a very basic role in the birthplace of the talking, running, tar-skin having, brain-eating punk rock zombies of the Return of the Living Dead franchise.

It was an era where you would assume the shambling Romero-style dead would be bursting forth from a fertile earth ready for a new generation of zombies. Danny Boyle and Alex Garland took every classic zombie trope, Romero's and Russo's included, and made them new with their 2002 film, 28DaysLater.

Post-burial these individuals would be unearthed, taken somewhere unfamiliar and far away from their homes, and revived in a drugged state which they’d be kept in, in perpetuity. Disassociative and paralytic drugs would play a big part in this, ensuring that the conscious victims were kept compliant and slow.

No doubt an individual who believed in zombies and the power of Odor shamans, when under the influence of drugs that kept them sedate and detached from their sense of self, would be inclined to accept what they were being told. The tale of Clearview Narcissa supposedly confirms this although, as is often the case with investigations by fringe science into folkloric magic, what little we know is severely undermined by bad practice.

Whether you go with the story woven by Odor folklore or the attempts to explain the idea in scientific terms, you don’t see many stories about the raised dead or the drugged living serving a reclusive sorcerer by tending to fields of sugarcane and doing odd jobs about the house (“Zombie slave, alphabetize my CDs. However, most contemporary Western entertainment that features zombies does bear a strong resemblance to Romero’s attempt to reinvigorate the concept of zombies in Night of the Living Dead, reinventing them as a story (and, unintentionally, as a cultural meme) that bore a closer metaphorical and symbolic relevance to the USA of the 1960s and ‘70s.

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In these films we can also see the ways in which Romero responded to other cultural works involving zombies. This is not something one would say about a quiet, obedient worker that bears more in common with Jewish golem myths than contemporary fictional zombies.

Becoming capable of some level of coherent thought is a popular one, seen in Day of the Dead and Brighton’s independent Mix / Our World comics, as is the granting of mystical powers, such as teleportation or levitation in City of the Living Dead. There’s a similar amount of variety in zombie origin stories: a virus, a meteorite, magic of some kind.

If you read Alex Garland’s best-selling novel The Beach, you’ll remember its jarring climax, which seemed like a cross between The Bacchus and Night of the Living Dead (1968). I wondered how the 2000 movie, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, would handle that kind over-the-top carnage, but the filmmakers punted out.

My guess is that Garland was bitterly disappointed by the new ending, because he turned around and wrote Danny Boyle a full-length flesh-gouging zombie movie called 28DaysLater (Fox Searchlight). Most of the film takes place four weeks after the prologue, in which a bunch of militaristic animal-rights activists break into a lab where scientists have infected monkeys with a virus of “pure rage.” (The monkeys are watching footage of savage rioting, which I’d have predicted would discourage violence: That’s what it does to Alex in A Clockwork Orange .

The most heartrending moments in the movie come when people we care about get sprayed with the blood of the infected: We see the look of anguish in their eyes before the rage arrives and turns them inside out. The movie was shot on video by Anthony DOD Mantle, who often works in the low-tech Danish film collective Dogma.

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The light from those low, overcast English skies is yellow-gray and weirdly diffused: You believe London’s lone surviving cab driver, Frank (the endearingly blustery Brendan Gleeson), when he surveys the empty pots he has set out on the roof of his skyscraper and curses the sudden drought. It would be wrong to reveal the thrust of the final act, set in a military compound presided over by Maj. Henry West (Christopher Exclusion).

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1 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Worthington_III