28 Days Later

28 Days Later

Overview
28 Days Later is an acclaimed 2002 British horror film
Horror film
Horror films seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus frequently overlapping with the fantasy and science fiction genres...

 directed by Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle
Daniel "Danny" Boyle is an English filmmaker and producer. He is best known for his work on films such as Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Trainspotting. For Slumdog Millionaire, Boyle won numerous awards in 2008, including the Academy Award for Best Director...

. The screenplay
Screenplay
A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film or television program. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated...

 was written by Alex Garland
Alex Garland
Alexander Medawar "Alex" Garland is a British novelist and screenwriter.-Early life:Garland was born in London, England, the son of psychoanalyst Caroline and political cartoonist Nicholas Garland. His maternal grandparents were zoologist Peter Medawar and author Jean Medawar...

, and the film stars Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

, Naomie Harris
Naomie Harris
Naomie Melanie Harris is an English screen actress. She is best known for her starring role as Selena in 28 Days Later, as well as her supporting turn as Tia Dalma/Calypso in the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films...

, Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, The Guard and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty...

, Megan Burns
Megan Burns
Megan Burns , also known as Betty Curse, is a British musician and award-winning actress.-Early life and acting career:...

, and Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston is an English stage, film and television actor. His films include Let Him Have It, Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, 28 Days Later, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Others, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra...

. The plot depicts the breakdown of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious "rage" virus and focuses upon the struggle of four survivors to cope with the ruination of the life they once knew.

A critical and commercial success, the film is widely recognised for images of a deserted London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, and was shot almost entirely on digital video
Digital video
Digital video is a type of digital recording system that works by using a digital rather than an analog video signal.The terms camera, video camera, and camcorder are used interchangeably in this article.- History :...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about '28 Days Later'
Start a new discussion about '28 Days Later'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Quotations

This is what I've seen in the four weeks since infection: people killing people. Which is much what I saw in the four weeks before infection, and the four weeks before that, and before that, as far back as I care to remember- people killing people. Which, to my mind, puts us in a state of normality right now.

The Days Are Numbered

Be Thankful For Everything, For Soon There Will Be Nothing...

Goodbye

His fear began when he woke up alone. His terror began when he realised he wasn't.

"...people killing people." -Our rage is destroying humanity; whether on a large or small scale, slowly but surely.

Return to normality

Encyclopedia
28 Days Later is an acclaimed 2002 British horror film
Horror film
Horror films seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus frequently overlapping with the fantasy and science fiction genres...

 directed by Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle
Daniel "Danny" Boyle is an English filmmaker and producer. He is best known for his work on films such as Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Trainspotting. For Slumdog Millionaire, Boyle won numerous awards in 2008, including the Academy Award for Best Director...

. The screenplay
Screenplay
A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film or television program. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated...

 was written by Alex Garland
Alex Garland
Alexander Medawar "Alex" Garland is a British novelist and screenwriter.-Early life:Garland was born in London, England, the son of psychoanalyst Caroline and political cartoonist Nicholas Garland. His maternal grandparents were zoologist Peter Medawar and author Jean Medawar...

, and the film stars Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

, Naomie Harris
Naomie Harris
Naomie Melanie Harris is an English screen actress. She is best known for her starring role as Selena in 28 Days Later, as well as her supporting turn as Tia Dalma/Calypso in the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films...

, Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, The Guard and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty...

, Megan Burns
Megan Burns
Megan Burns , also known as Betty Curse, is a British musician and award-winning actress.-Early life and acting career:...

, and Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston is an English stage, film and television actor. His films include Let Him Have It, Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, 28 Days Later, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Others, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra...

. The plot depicts the breakdown of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious "rage" virus and focuses upon the struggle of four survivors to cope with the ruination of the life they once knew.

A critical and commercial success, the film is widely recognised for images of a deserted London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, and was shot almost entirely on digital video
Digital video
Digital video is a type of digital recording system that works by using a digital rather than an analog video signal.The terms camera, video camera, and camcorder are used interchangeably in this article.- History :...

. The film spawned a 2007 sequel, 28 Weeks Later
28 Weeks Later
28 Weeks Later is a 2007 British/Spanish film sequel to the 2002 post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later was directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and released in the United Kingdom and United States on 11 May 2007...

, a graphic novel entitled 28 Days Later: The Aftermath
28 Days Later: The Aftermath
28 Days Later: The Aftermath is a graphic novel, as a continuation of the hit film 28 Days Later, written by Steve Niles and distributed by Fox Atomic Comics. It was released on April 3, 2007....

, which expands on the timeline of the outbreak, and a 2009 comic book series 28 Days Later
28 Days Later (comics)
28 Days Later is a comic book series published by BOOM! Studios, written by Michael Alan Nelson and drawn by Declan Shalvey and Alejandro Aragon....

.

Plot


British animal liberation
Animal liberation movement
The animal-liberation movement, sometimes called the animal-rights movement, animal personhood, or animal-advocacy movement, is a social movement which seeks an end to the rigid moral and legal distinction drawn between human and non-human animals, an end to the status of animals as property, and...

 activists break into a laboratory in Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

 and are caught by a scientist while trying to free some chimpanzee
Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:...

s being used for medical research. Despite the warnings of the chief scientist that the chimps are infected with a virus dubbed "Rage", which he claims is highly contagious and only takes one bite to spread, the activists open the cages anyway and release the chimpanzees. A chimp attacks a female activist and immediately infects her, and she in turn infects the other members of the group, including the chief scientist when he attempts to kill her.

Twenty-eight days later, a bicycle courier named Jim (Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

) awakens from a coma in the deserted St Thomas' Hospital
St Thomas' Hospital
St Thomas' Hospital is a large NHS hospital in London, England. It is administratively a part of Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. It has provided health care freely or under charitable auspices since the 12th century and was originally located in Southwark.St Thomas' Hospital is accessible...

. As he leaves, he discovers London deserted with signs of catastrophe everywhere. Jim is soon discovered and chased through the streets by psychotic people before being rescued by two survivors, Selena (Naomie Harris
Naomie Harris
Naomie Melanie Harris is an English screen actress. She is best known for her starring role as Selena in 28 Days Later, as well as her supporting turn as Tia Dalma/Calypso in the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films...

) and Mark (Noah Huntley
Noah Huntley
Noah Cornelius Marmaduke Huntley is an English actor, known for his role as Will Curtis in Holby City.-Background:...

), who kill Jim's pursuers with Molotov cocktails and explosives. After, they rush him to their hideout in the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

. There they reveal that while Jim was comatose from his accident, a virus spread uncontrollably among the populace, turning most people into rabid, psychotic "infected," resulting in societal collapse. They also explain that infection has been reported in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Selena and Mark accompany Jim to his parents' house the next morning, where he discovers that they committed suicide, leaving a note for him. That night, two of the infected see a candle Jim lights in the kitchen and attack. Mark is cut and infected blood enters his bloodstream; Selena quickly kills him, later explaining to Jim that the Rage virus overwhelms its victims in no more than twenty seconds. After leaving, they discover two more survivors, Frank (Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, The Guard and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty...

) and his teenage daughter, Hannah (Megan Burns
Megan Burns
Megan Burns , also known as Betty Curse, is a British musician and award-winning actress.-Early life and acting career:...

), holed up in a block of flats, and are invited to spend the rest of the night.

Frank informs them the next day that supplies, particularly water, are dwindling, and plays them a pre-recorded radio broadcast apparently transmitted by an Army blockade near Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, who claim to have "the answer to infection" and invites any survivor to try to reach their safe haven. The survivors board Frank's cab in search of the signal source and during the trip bond with one another in various situations. When the four reach the deserted blockade, Frank is infected when a drop of blood from a dead body falls into his eye. As he succumbs, he is killed by the arriving soldiers, who then take the remaining group to a fortified mansion under the command of Major Henry West (Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston is an English stage, film and television actor. His films include Let Him Have It, Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, 28 Days Later, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Others, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra...

). After settling in the mansion, West promises the three protection from the infected. However, Jim quickly discovers that West's "answer to infection" involves waiting for the infected to starve to death, and his broadcast of the radio message was launched to attract female survivors into sexual slavery to rebuild the population with his platoon's members. Jim attempts to escape with Selena and Hannah, but is captured by the soldiers, along with a Sergeant Farrell (Stuart McQuarrie
Stuart McQuarrie
Stuart McQuarrie is an actor who has starred in multiple acclaimed films, including Trainspotting and 28 Days Later. In 2008, McQuarrie starred in the film Ecstasy based on The Undefeated from Irvine Welsh's best-selling novel Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance...

), who disagrees with the major's plan and tried to stop the other soldiers from raping the two women. During their imprisonment, Farrell theorises that there is no worldwide pandemic, but rather that Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 has been quarantined.

The next day, as two soldiers lead Jim and Farrell to be executed, Selena and Hannah are being prepared for rape. Jim manages to escape while his escorts quarrel after killing Farrell, and notices the contrail
Contrail
Contrails or vapour trails are artificial clouds that are the visible trails of condensed water vapour made by the exhaust of aircraft engines...

 of a jet aircraft flying high overhead, which largely confirms Farrell's theory. After luring West and one of his men to the blockade and ambushing them, Jim runs back to the soldiers' headquarters where he unleashes Mailer, an infected soldier that West kept chained outside for observation. Mailer attacks the soldiers in the mansion, while Jim sets out to rescue the girls, who had been split up in the chaos. Selena, held hostage by a surviving soldier, is then rescued by Jim, who arrives and savagely kills her captor with his bare hands. Selena mistakes Jim for an infected and raises her machete to kill him, but when she hesitates, Jim remarks "That was longer than a heartbeat." The two kiss, reunite with Hannah, and run to Frank's cab, only to encounter a vengeful West, who shoots Jim in the stomach. Hannah commandeers the cab and backs it up to the front door, where Mailer drags West out through the rear window and kills him. She then drives away with Jim and Selena.

Selena and Hannah rush Jim into a deserted hospital, where Selena performs life-saving emergency procedures. Twenty-eight days later, Jim is shown waking up in recovery again, this time at a remote cottage. Downstairs, he finds Selena sewing large swaths of fabric when Hannah appears. The three rush outside and unfurl a huge cloth banner, adding the final letter to the word "HELLO" laid out on the meadow. As a Finnish fighter jet flies over the landscape, infected people are shown lying by the side of a road, dying of starvation. The jet flies past the three waving survivors and their distress sign, and as it flies away Selena asks sarcastically, but with a smile: "Do you think he saw us this time?"

Alternative endings


The DVD extras include three alternative endings, all of which conclude with Jim dying. Two were filmed, while the third, a more radical departure, was presented only in storyboards. On 25 July 2003, cinemas started showing the alternative ending after the film's credits.

Jim dies at the hospital


In this ending, after Jim is shot, Selena and Hannah still rush him to the deserted hospital, but the scene is extended. Selena, with Hannah's assistance, attempts to perform life-saving procedures but cannot revive Jim. Selena is heartbroken, and Hannah, distraught, looks to her for guidance. Selena tells Hannah that they will go on; they pick up their guns and walk away from Jim's lifeless body. Selena and Hannah, fully armed, walk through the operating room doors, which gradually stop swinging.

On the DVD commentary, Boyle and Garland explain that this was the original ending of the film's first cut, which was tested with preview audiences. It was rejected for seeming too bleak; the final exit from the hospital was intended to imply Selena and Hannah's survival, whereas test audiences felt that the women were marching off to certain death. Boyle and Garland express a preference for this alternative ending, calling it the "true ending". They comment that this ending brought Jim full circle, as he starts and finishes the story in bed in a deserted hospital.

This ending was added in the theatrical release of the film beginning on 25 July 2003, placed after the credits and prefaced with the words "what if..."

Rescue coda without Jim


This ending, for which only a rough edit was completed, is an alternative version of the potential rescue sequence shown at the very end of the released film. Here, the scenes are identical, except that this ending was intended to be placed after the first alternative ending where Jim dies, so he is absent. When Selena is sewing one of the banner letters in the cottage, she is seen facetiously talking to a chicken instead of Jim. Only Selena and Hannah are seen waving to the jet flying overhead in the final shots.

"Radical Alternative Ending"


The "Radical Alternative Ending", rather than a bare ending, is a radically different development of the movie from the midpoint onwards; it was not filmed and is presented on the DVD as a series of illustrated storyboards with voiceovers by Boyle and Garland. When Frank is infected at the military blockade near Manchester, the soldiers do not enter the story. Instead, Jim, Selena and Hannah are somehow able to restrain the infected Frank, hoping they will find a cure for the virus nearby as suggested in the radio broadcast. They soon discover that the blockade had protected a large medical research complex, the same one featured in the first scene of the film where the virus was developed.
Inside, the party is relieved to find a scientist self-barricaded inside a room with food and water. He will not open the door because he fears they will take his food, although he does admit that the "answer to infection is here". Unfortunately, he refuses to talk further because he does not want to make an emotional attachment to people who will soon be dead. After hours of failed attempts to break through the door or coax the man out, Jim eventually brings Hannah to the door and explains Frank's situation. The scientist reluctantly tells them that Frank can only be cured with a complete blood transfusion, and supplies them with the necessary equipment. After learning that he is the only match with Frank's blood type, Jim sacrifices himself so that Frank can survive with his daughter. Just as his journey began, Jim is left alone in the abandoned medical facility, and Selena, Hannah and Frank move into the room with the scientist as a horde of the infected breach the complex. The computer monitors show death and destruction come to life around a thrashing, infected Jim, who is strapped to the same table as the chimp had been in the opening scene.

Garland and Boyle explain that they conceived this ending to see what the film would be like if they did not expand the focus beyond the four core survivors. They decided against it because the idea of a total blood replacement as a cure was not credible. As Boyle said in the DVD commentary, it "didn't make much sense" since the film had already established that one drop of blood can infect a person. "What would we do? Drain him of blood and scrub his veins with bleach?"

"Hospital Dream"


The "Hospital Dream" ending is an extended version of the theatrical alternative ending where Jim dies at the hospital. It is revealed by the director during the optional commentary that this was the full version of the original ending. Jim dreams while unconscious and remembers the final moments on his bicycle before the crash. The footage cuts back and forth between the scene with Selena and Hannah trying to save his life and the dream sequence. As he gets hit by a car in his flashback, he simultaneously dies on the operating table.

Cast



  • Cillian Murphy
    Cillian Murphy
    Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

     as Jim
  • Naomie Harris
    Naomie Harris
    Naomie Melanie Harris is an English screen actress. She is best known for her starring role as Selena in 28 Days Later, as well as her supporting turn as Tia Dalma/Calypso in the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films...

     as Selena
  • Christopher Eccleston
    Christopher Eccleston
    Christopher Eccleston is an English stage, film and television actor. His films include Let Him Have It, Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, 28 Days Later, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Others, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra...

     as Major Henry West
  • Megan Burns
    Megan Burns
    Megan Burns , also known as Betty Curse, is a British musician and award-winning actress.-Early life and acting career:...

     as Hannah
  • Brendan Gleeson
    Brendan Gleeson
    Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, The Guard and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty...

     as Frank
  • Noah Huntley
    Noah Huntley
    Noah Cornelius Marmaduke Huntley is an English actor, known for his role as Will Curtis in Holby City.-Background:...

     as Mark
  • Ricci Harnett
    Ricci Harnett
    Ricci Harnett is an English actor, best known for his role as Carlton Leach in the film Rise of the Footsoldier. He debuted in 1991 in The Object of Beauty alongside John Malkovich. He has also appeared in the film 28 Days Later as Corporal Mitchell...

     as Corporal Mitchell
  • Stuart McQuarrie
    Stuart McQuarrie
    Stuart McQuarrie is an actor who has starred in multiple acclaimed films, including Trainspotting and 28 Days Later. In 2008, McQuarrie starred in the film Ecstasy based on The Undefeated from Irvine Welsh's best-selling novel Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance...

     as Sergeant Farrell
  • Leo Bill
    Leo Bill
    Leo Bill is an English actor, best known for his role as James Brocklebank in 2006 film The Living and the Dead. He is son of the actress Sheila Kelley.-Filmography:-Theatre:...

     as Private Jones
  • Luke Mably
    Luke Mably
    Luke Mably is an English actor, best known for playing Scott Lucas in Sky One's Dream Team, Prince Edvard in The Prince and Me and White in the 2009 thriller Exam. He attended the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama.-Movie career:Mably portrayed White in the thriller Exam under the direction...

     as Private Clifton
  • Junior Laniyan as Private Bell
  • Ray Panthaki
    Ray Panthaki
    Ray Panthaki is a British-born actor, film producer and writer.Born in London, Panthaki is best known for the roles he played on BBC soap opera EastEnders as Ronny Ferreira and as 'Hassan B' the nemesis to Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G in Ali G Indahouse...

     as Private Bedford
  • Bindu De Stopanni as Private Leira
  • Sanjay Rambaruth as Private Davis
  • Marvin Campbell as Private Mailer
  • David Schneider
    David Schneider (actor)
    David Schneider is an English actor and comedian.Schneider studied modern languages at the University of Oxford, and studied for a DPhil in Yiddish Drama. During his time at university, Schneider performed a predominantly physical comedy act that contrasted with the trend towards stand-up comedy...

     as Scientist


On the DVD, Boyle explains that, with the aim of preserving the suspension of disbelief, relatively unknown actors were cast in the film. Cillian Murphy had starred primarily in small independent films, while Naomie Harris had acted on British television as a child, and Megan Burns had only had previous film credit. However, Christopher Eccleston and Brendan Gleeson were well-known character actor
Character actor
A character actor is one who predominantly plays unusual or eccentric characters. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a character actor as "an actor who specializes in character parts", defining character part in turn as "an acting role displaying pronounced or unusual characteristics or...

s.

Production


28 Days Later features scenes set in normally bustling parts of London such as Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames between Westminster on the north side and Lambeth on the south side, in London, England....

, Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly...

, Horse Guards Parade
Horse Guards Parade
Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground off Whitehall in central London, at grid reference . It is the site of the annual ceremonies of Trooping the Colour, which commemorates the monarch's official birthday, and Beating Retreat.-History:...

, and Oxford Street
Oxford Street
Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, United Kingdom. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, as well as its most dense, and currently has approximately 300 shops. The street was formerly part of the London-Oxford road which began at Newgate,...

. In order to depict these locations as desolate, the film crew closed off sections of street for minutes at a time, usually in early morning to minimise disruption. Portions of the film were shot on a Canon XL1 digital video
Digital video
Digital video is a type of digital recording system that works by using a digital rather than an analog video signal.The terms camera, video camera, and camcorder are used interchangeably in this article.- History :...

 camera. DV cameras are much smaller and more manoeuvrable than traditional film cameras, which would have been impractical on such brief shoots.

The scenes of the M1 motorway
M1 motorway
The M1 is a north–south motorway in England primarily connecting London to Leeds, where it joins the A1 near Aberford. While the M1 is considered to be the first inter-urban motorway to be completed in the United Kingdom, the first road to be built to motorway standard in the country was the...

 completely devoid of traffic were also filmed within very limited time periods. A mobile police roadblock slowed traffic sufficiently to leave a long section of carriageway empty while the scene was filmed. The section depicted in the film was actually located at Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes , sometimes abbreviated MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, in the south east of England, about north-west of London. It is the administrative centre of the Borough of Milton Keynes...

, nowhere near Manchester. For the London scene where Jim walks by the overturned double-decker bus, the film crew placed the bus on its side and removed it when the shot was finished, all within 20 minutes.

Much of the filming took place prior to the September 11 attacks, and in the audio commentary Boyle notes the parallel between the "missing persons" flyers seen at the beginning of the film and similar flyers posted in New York City in the wake of the attacks. Boyle adds that his crew probably would not have been granted permission to close off Whitehall
Whitehall
Whitehall is a road in Westminster, in London, England. It is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, towards Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square...

 for filming after the terrorist attacks in New York.

The mansion used in the film was Trafalgar Park
Trafalgar House (Wiltshire)
Trafalgar House, also known as Trafalgar Park, is a country house located south of Salisbury, in the county of Wiltshire, England. This country estate is a popular venue for events such as weddings, corporate meetings and charity fundraisers. In recent years, it has also been used as a set for film...

 near Salisbury
Salisbury
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England and the only city in the county. It is the second largest settlement in the county...

. Many rooms in the house, including the Cipriani
Giovanni Battista Cipriani
Giovanni Battista Cipriani , Italian painter and engraver, Pistoiese by descent, was born in Florence.-History:His first lessons were given him by a Florentine of English descent, Ignatius Hugford, and then under Anton Domenico Gabbiani...

-painted music room and the main hall, were filmed with minimal set decoration. The scenes occurring upstairs were actually filmed downstairs, as the mansion's owner resided upstairs.

One month before the film was released in cinemas, various newspapers included a short panel comic book style promotion for the film, in which various scenes showed a chaotic London during those 27 days with people trying to escape the city en masse.

The old ruins used as the setting for an idyllic interlude in their journey to Manchester were those of Waverley Abbey
Waverley Abbey
Waverley Abbey was the first Cistercian abbey in England, founded in 1128 by William Giffard, Bishop of Winchester. It is situated about one mile south of Farnham, Surrey, in a bend of the River Wey.-History:...

, Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

. The end scenes of the film where Jim, Selena and Hannah are living in a rural cottage were filmed around Ennerdale
Ennerdale Water
Ennerdale Water is the most westerly lake in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. It is a glacial lake, with a maximum depth of 45 metres , and at 700 to 1,500 metres wide and 3.9 kilometres is one of the smallest lakes in the area...

 in Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

. This reflects the motorway road signage in the film which indicates the trio heading north towards the Lake District National Park
Lake District
The Lake District, also commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous not only for its lakes and its mountains but also for its associations with the early 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth...

.

Style and inspiration


On the DVD commentary, Boyle and Garland frequently call it a post apocalypse and horror film
Horror film
Horror films seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus frequently overlapping with the fantasy and science fiction genres...

, commenting on scenes that were specific references to George A. Romero
George A. Romero
George Andrew Romero is a Canadian-American film director, screenwriter and editor, best known for his gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. He is nicknamed "Godfather of all Zombies." -Life and career:...

's Dead trilogy. However, during the initial marketing of the film Boyle did try to distance the film from such labels. Boyle identified John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids
The Day of the Triffids
The Day of the Triffids is a post-apocalyptic novel published in 1951 by the English science fiction author John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, under the pen-name John Wyndham. Although Wyndham had already published other novels using other pen-name combinations drawn from his lengthy real...

as Garland's original inspiration for the story.

Reception


28 Days Later was a considerable success at the box office and became highly profitable on a budget of about £5 million. In the UK, it took in £6.1 million, while in the US it became a surprise hit, taking over $45 million despite a limited release at fewer than 1,500 screens across the country. The film garnered around $82.7 million worldwide.

Critical views of the film were very positive. Based on 199 reviews collected by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

, 89% of critics gave 28 Days Later a positive review. On Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

, it received a 73 (out of 100) based on 39 reviews. The Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

described it as a "stylistic tour de force," and efilmcritic.com called it "raw, blistering and joyously uncompromising."

Bravo awarded it the 100th spot on their "The 100 Scariest Movie Moments." In 2007, Stylus Magazine
Stylus Magazine
Stylus Magazine was an online music and film magazine launched in 2002. It featured long-form music journalism, four daily music reviews, movie reviews, a number of different podcasts, an MP3 blog, and a text blog....

named it the second best zombie movie of all time. The film also ranked at number 456 in Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time. Bloody Disgusting
Bloody Disgusting
Bloody Disgusting is a website that covers horror movies with reviews, interviews and news. It is currently run by Brad Miska, and Tom Owen. According to one source, the site has 1.5 million unique visitors and 20 million page views each month. It is widely considered to be the "world's most...

 ranked the film seventh in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article saying "Zombie movie? Political allegory? Humanist drama? 28 Days Later is all of those things and more – a genuine work of art by a director at the top of his game. What's so amazing about the film is the way it so expertly balances scenes of white-knuckled, hell-for-leather horror with moments of intimate beauty."

Awards

  • Best Horror Film (U.S. Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films — Saturn Award)
  • Best British Film (Empire Award)
  • Danny Boyle (Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver)
  • Best Director — Danny Boyle (International Fantasy Film Award)
  • Best International Film — Danny Boyle (Narcisse Award)
  • Best Breakthrough Performance — Naomie Harris (Black Reel)
  • Best Cinematographer — Anthony Dod Mantle (European Film Award)


Soundtrack and score


The film's score was composed by John Murphy
John Murphy (composer)
John Murphy is an English film composer. He is a self taught multi-instrumental musician who began his career in the 1980s working notably with The Lotus Eaters, Thomas Lang and Claudia Brücken....

 and was released in a score/song compilation in 2003. It also features notable tracks from Brian Eno
Brian Eno
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno , commonly known as Brian Eno or simply as Eno , is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.Eno studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex,...

, Grandaddy
Grandaddy
Grandaddy was an American indie rock band, formed in 1992 in Modesto, California by singer, guitarist, and keyboardist Jason Lytle, bassist Kevin Garcia, and drummer Aaron Burtch. Guitarist Jim Fairchild and keyboardist Tim Dryden later joined the band in 1995...

, and Blue States
Blue States (band)
Blue States are an English downtempo music band, headed up by Andy Dragazis. The band has been active since 1997, and is currently working, based in London, England. There have been four albums to date, the latest 'First Steps Into...' in 2007, with a B-sides collection Sum Of The Parts in 2009...

.

A heavily edited version of the song "East Hastings" by the post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Godspeed You! Black Emperor is a Canadian post-rock band which originated from Montreal, Quebec in 1994...

 appears in the film, but the track is excluded from the soundtrack, because Boyle could only obtain the rights to use it in the film.

28 Days Later: The Soundtrack Album was released on 17 June 2003. A modified version of the soundtrack 'In The House – In A Heartbeat' was used as the character Big Daddy's theme in the 2010 film Kick-Ass
Kick-Ass (film)
Kick-Ass is a 2010 superhero comedy film based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The film was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who co-produced the film with actor Brad Pitt, and co-wrote the screenplay with Jane Goldman...

.

Sequels


A sequel, 28 Weeks Later
28 Weeks Later
28 Weeks Later is a 2007 British/Spanish film sequel to the 2002 post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later was directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and released in the United Kingdom and United States on 11 May 2007...

, was released May 11, 2007. Danny Boyle and Alex Garland
Alex Garland
Alexander Medawar "Alex" Garland is a British novelist and screenwriter.-Early life:Garland was born in London, England, the son of psychoanalyst Caroline and political cartoonist Nicholas Garland. His maternal grandparents were zoologist Peter Medawar and author Jean Medawar...

 took producing roles alongside Andrew Macdonald
Andrew Macdonald (producer)
Andrew Macdonald is a Scottish film producer, best known for his collaborations with screenwriter John Hodge and director Danny Boyle, including Shallow Grave , Trainspotting and 28 Days Later ....

. The plot revolves around the arrival of American troops about seven months after the incidents in the original film, attempting to revitalise a nearly desolate Britain. The cast for this sequel includes Robert Carlyle
Robert Carlyle
Robert Carlyle, OBE is a Scottish film and television actor. He is known for a variety of roles including those in Trainspotting, Hamish Macbeth, The Full Monty, The World Is Not Enough, Angela's Ashes, The 51st State, and 28 Weeks Later...

, Rose Byrne
Rose Byrne
Mary Rose Byrne is an Australian actress.Byrne made her screen debut in 1994 with a small role in the film Dallas Doll...

, Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Lee Renner is a two-time Academy-Award-nominated American actor and musician. Renner appeared in films throughout the 2000s, mostly in supporting roles. He came to prominence in films such as Dahmer , S.W.A.T. , Neo Ned , 28 Weeks Later and The Hurt Locker...

, Imogen Poots
Imogen Poots
Imogen Gay Poots is an English actress, best known for playing Tammy in the 2007 film 28 Weeks Later, Prue Sorenson in the 2010 remake of the controversial TV drama Bouquet of Barbed Wire and as Jean Ross in the BBC's Christopher and His Kind.-Early life:Poots was born in Hammersmith, London,...

, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack
Catherine McCormack
Catherine McCormack is an English actress, known for her stage acting as well as her screen performances in films such as Braveheart, Spy Game and Dangerous Beauty.- Early life :...

, and Idris Elba
Idris Elba
Idrissa Akuna "Idris" Elba is a British television, theatre, and film actor. He has starred in both British and American productions. Elba grew up in Canning Town, East London. One of his first acting roles was in the soap opera Family Affairs. He has worked in a variety of TV roles including ...

.

In March 2007, Danny Boyle was interviewed by an Irish radio station, where he claimed to be interested in making a third film in the series, 28 Months Later.

Comic books


Fox Atomic Comics
Fox Atomic Comics
Fox Atomic Comics was formed in late 2006 as the graphic novel publishing arm of Fox Atomic. In partnership with publisher HarperCollins, Fox Atomic Comics produced and distributed graphic novels tied to Fox Atomic theatrical releases as well as original content. It closed, along with Fox Atomic,...

, in association with HarperCollins
HarperCollins
HarperCollins is a publishing company owned by News Corporation. It is the combination of the publishers William Collins, Sons and Co Ltd, a British company, and Harper & Row, an American company, itself the result of an earlier merger of Harper & Brothers and Row, Peterson & Company. The worldwide...

, has published a graphic novel
Graphic novel
A graphic novel is a narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art in either an experimental design or in a traditional comics format...

 bridging the time gap between 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, entitled 28 Days Later: The Aftermath
28 Days Later: The Aftermath
28 Days Later: The Aftermath is a graphic novel, as a continuation of the hit film 28 Days Later, written by Steve Niles and distributed by Fox Atomic Comics. It was released on April 3, 2007....

, written by Steve Niles
Steve Niles
Steve Niles is an American comic book author and novelist, known for works such as 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Simon Dark, Mystery Society and Batman: Gotham County Line....

.

28 Days Later
28 Days Later (comics)
28 Days Later is a comic book series published by BOOM! Studios, written by Michael Alan Nelson and drawn by Declan Shalvey and Alejandro Aragon....

, a comic sequel also linking Days and Weeks and produced by Fox Atomic (until its demise) and Boom! Studios
Boom! Studios
BOOM! Studios is an American comic book company headquartered in Los Angeles, California, United States. The "BOOM!" in BOOM! Studios is always capitalized by the company.-History:BOOM! was founded June 22, 2005 with Zombie Tales #1....

, begun production in 2009. The series focuses on Selena and answers questions about her in the film and her sequel whereabouts.

External links