Those of you looking for a sequel to Sandra Bullock’s alcoholic drama 28 Days will probably be disappointed in 28 Days Later. The first clue that you have the wrong movie might be all the British accents. The second might be all the murders. The gritty and truly frightening 28 Days Later is generally termed a zombie movie — and indeed it touches upon the same aesthetics — but in fact, these “zombies” (or rather, “infected”) aren’t dead; they’ve just caught a “rage” disease that makes them really, really pissed off and in dire need of Visine.
Unlike George Romero’s zombie prototype, these buggers run like the dickens (makes sense, given there’s no rigor mortis) and, from what I can tell, don’t appear to eat their victims. They just want to beat the hell out of them and maybe vomit blood into their mouth. I’ll take the eating, please!
Naomie Harris is featured as Selena, one of the ballsiest, take-charge heroines in recent horror history, who won’t think twice to stick a machete in you if she senses that you’re infected. She mellows out a bit, though, once she’s forced to take care of orphaned teenager Hannah, at which point her maternal instincts kick in — a la Ridley in Aliens. She also happens to be black, which a nice change of pace for a leading lady. Cillian Murphy is Selena’s reluctant hero, and the movie doesn’t shy away from interracial romance, since really, you can’t be too picky when you’re the last people left alive.
The only major black male presence in the film is Private Mailer (Marvin Campbell), the most prominently featured “infected,” who’s kept on a chain as a guinea pig by his army comrades until that inevitable day he escapes. Perhaps DMX said it best: “Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind up in here, up in here…Y’all gon’ make me puke some blood up in here, up in here…Y’all gon’ make me contract a disease that makes me what to bash your skull in and rip your eyes out for looking at me STOP LOOKING AT ME YOU STINKINGDIRTYPIGI’LLKILLYOUKILLYOUKILLLLLLLGARRRAHGHRRRR!!!!” …Or something like that.