28 Days Later *

Got this email the other day. I thought I'd share it.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim ---" <@.com>
To: <[email protected]>
Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 1:17 AM
Subject: Your writing skills suck!

"I tried to read some of your reviews but they are so boring and long
winded.  You start off with how you got there and all the prep work you
did to get into the theatre.  What a waste of internet bandwidth that
was to download that.  By the way, do you think people really care about
how you got there?  I know I sure don't. 

Anyways, by the time you get to the review you sound so unenthusiastic
about what you saw (even when you like it) I would think you are on some
kind of A.D.D. medication or something.  Your writing is plain, long
winded, and unexciting. 

Please find someone who can edit your writing so it can more easily be


Anyway, I went to this movie tonight. I took my keys and wallet with me. After I walked out my door I shut it behind me and locked it. Then I tested the knob to make sure it was locked. It was. Then I walked down the stairs and out the front door of my building. At the bottom of the steps I took a right and then at the corner I took another right. The bigger movie theater is down about 8 blocks. On the way there I stopped in a deli and bought a thing of water and peanut m&ms. It came out to $2.75. I gave the guy a $10 and he gave me change. I said thank you. Then I continued walking. At the stop light it said DON'T WALK.  I didn't. After a minute or so the light changed and the sign said WALK. At that point I walked across the street.. Then I walked under some scaffolding. I get a little nervous walking under scaffolding because it looks so rickety. But nothing happened. When I got to the theater I looked at a movie poster that was in the window. It wasn't a particularly good movie poster. Then I walked toward the entrance. When I got to the front door of the theater I opened it and walked inside. Once inside I was inside. I bought a ticket from the machine and headed to the escalator. For whatever reason it wasn't running and everyone had to walk up the escalator which is somehow more tiring than walking up stairs. (I think they shut it off on purpose for some reason only known to the theater people. Or just to be mean.) Anyway, I finally got to the theater and found a seat. Then I sat down and I finished off the M&M's and water before the previews even finished. I kept trying to save some m&ms for later but then kept eating them instead. Then the movie started.

28 Days Later started off better than any movie I've seen in a long time. It dove right in. I knew this movie was a 'zombie' movie going in but supposedly it was better than your average zombie movie. And it was. It starts off nicely nightmarishly then settles into dread then it collapsed into desperation and staggered toward insanity. While watching this movie I realized I was watching something 'different' and for that I appreciated it. The zombies (the infected) were goodly horrible. It all looked different and felt weird. (Not only cause it was all british and stuff.) And for the first half of the movie it cruised along making me uneasy. And queasy. And creeped out.

This movie was made by the guy who directed Trainspotting (Danny Boyle) which I only saw once and don't remember at all because I was loopy at the time. I just remember images from that movie. And I think when all is said and done that's what the takeaway is from this movie too. Certain shots. Certain situations. Images. The look. The style. The film is grainy. Sometimes out of focus. The action shots are lighting fast to the point where it's intentionally blinding. The infected have this stopmotion movement thing which is creepy and good. And at first I dug it all. 

Unfortunately all that stuff doesn't add up to a great movie. The camera tricks get sorta repetitive and distracting. The grainy out of focus thing gets a little annoying. And the quick cutcutcutaway action got to feel like a cheat rather than a coolio spectacle. Once the initial impact of the 'look' wore off I started looking into punching holes in the plot and that turned out to be really easy. I didn't like that so much. I started to wish he would just reign it all in and just make a good movie. Because the reality of the situation was fading. And reality to me always comes through as the most scary. When I imagine myself there. And so not wanting to be there. That's what's scary to me. And I couldn't imagine being there anymore.

But the last half-hour the movie came back around for me again. I somehow crossed over the hump of the need for a straighter movie and got caught up in the flow of the bizarrity of this flick. The mood is weird and disturbing. Wild infected move fast. Rarrrr! Arrr! And as everything played out I dug what I was seeing. The plot was interesting enough (although conceptually it was better than full length.) But when push came to shove all I wanted was to hang out in the freaky beginning. Where all was not what it seemed and what seemed to be just wasn't. No answers. Just questions. Being in a state of wonder. And movement. I liked it there. Not watching something that is supposed to be scary. Just being plain scared. Ah yeah.... that's the spot.

Three Good Things About This Movie

- There are some real moments of genuine horror that are juicy.
- The way the 'infected' were produced was interesting and somewhat realistic as opposed to the standard 'when hell overflows...'
- I was bored for maybe a total of 15 minutes the whole time.

Three Bad Things About This Movie

- Had a good stretch of downtime that could have been used better with some insight into what happened rather than just dwelling in the present.
- The unrealistic response to what had happened always was a distracting factor.
-  I wanted smore gore.

All in all if you dig horror this movie is definitely worth seeing. As far as zombie movies go Dawn of the Dead remains king for me of course. But this movie is different. And good. And has some scary. And some good blood vomit. But instead of it being called 28 Days Later (28 days after the initial infection)- I wish it had been called 7 Days Later. Cause that's when all hell must have broken loose. And when all was said and done I wish I had seen what had gone on before all was said and done. That's what I kept wanting to see. The straight out horrible chaos. Because chaos drenched in evil is scarier than any zombie jumping thru any window any day.


PS. I just reread this review and I found it particularly difficult to follow and rambling. :-) LOL. Sorry bout that.