In 2002, director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland made a little low budget film for measly £5,000,000. It starred mostly unknown actors and it did two things. It started a zombie revival that has been going strong even today and it introduced the running zombie.
The film starts with a bunch of animal activists breaking into a lab and freeing the monkeys locked in cages there. A doctor tries to warn them that the animals are infected with something, isolated rage virus but they don’t listen and are soon bitten and infected. 28 Days Later… Cillian Murphy, bicycle delivery man awakes after an accident to find the hospital that he is in is deserted. He gets dressed and starts looking for people. The city is empty and a mess. Murphy stumbles into a church and sees a priest but is unaware of the outbreak that has occurred. The priest is infected and goes to attack Murphy along with more of the infected. Fortunately Murphy is saved by Naomie Harris and a friend of her’s. Together they find a couple more survivors and try to make their way to an army outpost that has been broadcasting a message saying that they have an answer to the infection.
This film influenced a whole new wave of zombie movies. It also started a whole debate over fast zombies versus the traditional slow moving zombies. Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead featured the fast running zombies. Granted these were rage infected people not zombies but it’s close enough. The film’s soundtrack has been reused countless of times since especially John Murphy’s piece In the House, In a Heartbeat, noticeably in 2010’s Kick-Ass.
The movie was shot on video giving it a grainy, documentary look that’s extremely effective. It naturally inspired a sequel, 28 Weeks Later, that wasn’t too bad. A really creepy, scary movie.