28 Days Later

Starring: Cillian Murphy, et al.
Director: Danny Boyle

Region: 2
Ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Audio Tracks: English
Subtitles: Swedish
Captions: English
Menus: Animated

Special Features: Audio Commentary by director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland pick, Pure Rage: Making of "28 Days Later", Deleted Scenes, Alternate Endings, 'Marketing' section with a teaser, theatrical trailer, animated storyboards for the UK "28 Days Later" website, and a music video, selection of trailers for other Fox titles.


This post-apocalyptic horror movie by Brit director Danny Boyle of Trainspotting fame about a world devastated by a new killer disease that turns its victims into mindless killer "zombies" plays upon our fantasies of how one would survive without the usual amenities of civilisation.

As anyone who has ever gone roughing it in the woods would know, living without running water, electricity, fridges, etc. may be fun for a weekend, but wouldn't be particularly appealing as a permanent lifestyle. Add to this the collapse of law and order and we're in Mad Max territory - but with zombies and (unfortunately) without the cars . . .

A 20-plus minute making of documentary included on the disc tries to make a case about how plausible the idea of a new killer disease might be - but hey, this is just typical media-inspired culture of fear mongering. Just what the hell was Sars about in any case?

The new virulent killer disease in 28 Days Later is "in the blood" thus making it a parable for Aids and later on the movie plays upon our dread of rape. However, 28 Days Later is a mixture of The Omega Man and Night of the Living Dead and ultimately is more about any survivalist fantasies one might harbour . . .

THE DISC: This is the Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc.) disc. Menus are animated and when one puts the disc into the player it immediately starts playing trailers for a whole lot - and I mean a lot - of other 20th Century Fox releases, ranging from anything from the Solaris remake to Bulletproof Monk.

Of interest is the trailer for Master and Commander, the upcoming period piece set at sea tarring Russell Crowe in heroic mode as the commander of a British sailing ship. After the recent success of Pirates of the Caribbean it'd be interesting whether audiences would go for another action movie set in more or less the same genre and time frame, even though Master and Commander seems more Mutiny on the Bounty than the fantastical Pirates . . .

Otherwise, there is what should be really standard on most DVDs: trailers, deleted scenes, alternate trailers, gallery, publicity material and the aforementioned making of documentary which is more promotional fluff than anything really informative or substantial.

Of interest are the deleted scenes and the various alternate endings which give the impression that the film-makers had a more downbeat and depressing ending in mind before the money bosses no doubt interfered.

Incidentally, even though 28 Days Later was originally filmed on digital film, the movie didn't particularly translate well to the DVD format. When it comes to the film's more murky scenes and camera movements, the compression used has a problem handling greens and browns occasionally. This results in a wave-y effect similar to what I've seen in the official Star Wars VCD, although not as bad. There is also some colour bleeding. At times I found it distracting, but overall it isn't too bad perhaps. Still, one is somehow disappointed. Will the Region 1 NTSC DVD be any better? I don't know.

WORTH IT? A satisfying, but not quite rewatchable movie, 28 Days Later might not be anything new for SF fans, but is still worth checking out.

RECOMMENDATION: A decent rental.



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