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July 09, 2003

28 Days Later, Buzz Buzz

I really enjoyed The Blair Witch Project when it first came out, though most of my friends who saw it were disappointed. I enjoyed the unconventional home video approach, the minimal cast, the ambiguity. Yes, it had absurd elements, and was frail in the light of day (lost in the woods? Climb a tree and look around, dudes!). But it had a sense of style, and leveraged minimal equipment and budget to great effect.

But I couldn't be bothered to see the sequels/spin-offs. What is the point of taking something so original (at least I felt so) and bleaching out every last vestige of color, lather, rinse, repeat? True, I see sequels every day, but then I'm not seeking originality of voice. In these cases it's more about branding, comforting familiarity, I'd guess. Kinda like the decision to eat at McDonalds in a strange town, rather than try that intriguing Thai restaurant over there...

This meandering monologue is my way of introducing yet another review of 28 Days Later, an assuredly flawed movie that nevertheless struck that note of indie vitality I felt in Blair. This review is by John Shirley, probably best known for City Come A-Walkin', though I remember him best for his quirky 'horror' novel, Wetbones.

28 Days Later is perhaps not as scary as it thinks it is but it's paced like a machine gun burst, and it's gripping and wry.

Another quote, more about the business of film making than the film in question:

Flesh eating zombies don't make me sick brain eating executives make me sick. Brain eating? They take talented people like those guys who made The Blair Witch Project and they eat their brains. Evidently, judging by Blair Witch 2.

John Shirley

Posted by dpwakefield at July 9, 2003 08:53 PM


28 days later was the most succesful british horror movie and it pisses me of when people call it a zombie movie its not there a complete different species and dont watch it with all your mates in the light watch it by your self in the dark at like 3 oclock in the mornin and think about it happenin coz u never no fools i will make a film with my fellow film lover and well b the most succesful producers directors and film writers ever

Posted by: liam mcintyre at October 6, 2003 07:29 AM