Flickering Myth’s writing team count down to the release of Trance by selecting their favourite Danny Boyle movies; next up is Anghus Houvouras with 2002’s 28 Days Later…
Danny Boyle has always been a fearless cinematic presence. There are few directors in the modern era of cinema who have presented such a wide variety of films. Every subsequent release has been a radical departure from his previous effort. Boyle seems as interested in challenging himself as he does the audience. The most watchable of all his works may be the simplest in terms of story and execution, the infinitely entertaining 28 Days Later.
Yes, the film was progressive in a number of ways, but at the heart of 28 Days Later is one of the most thrilling and intriguing pieces of post apocalyptic cinema ever to be produced. Boyle masterfully manages to keep the movie tense, but allows moments for the characters to breathe. There’s a scene where the four survivors round up supplies at a grocery store that is wonderfully light and airy. Where some filmmakers may have used an empty grocery store as a tension builder, Boyle is smart enough to give the audience a moment of levity before delving into the brutal violence that lays ahead. He also displays impressive filmmaking skills in the second act when the film radically changes gears. The entire set up is based on the last remnants of mankind trying to survive the infected, but Jim and company soon learn that they have as much to fear from the living as they do the dead. Equal credit is due to an exceptionally tight script from writer Alex Garland.
28 Days Later is not just Danny Boyle’s greatest film, but the defining film of the modern zombie revival. It’s easily one of my ten favorite films, a pioneering classic that deserves consideration.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the graphic novel EXE: Executable File, is available from Lulu.com.