The film 28 Days Later is about a virus called rage that turns people into blood thirsty zombies. The film operates under the assumption that if you are bitten or somehow come into contact with the blood of the Infected, then you will become a part of the Infected as well. This film was important to the horror genre because it gave rise to the idea of fast, killer zombies similar to today’s The Walking Dead. The main character is Jim and he becomes romantically involved with another character, Selena and this is an important character choice in my opinion.
In one of the final scenes, Jim, Selena and a young girl named Hannah are at a military camp where they think they will be safe. The military leader is a man who has intentions to use Hannah and Selena to repopulate the earth, however, Jim is having none of it. He eventually takes a beating and is thrown out of the encampment, but comes back to enact revenge on the military and get back Hannah and Selena. When he comes back he is shown in the back of the main shot, for instance, he is in the window as we see Selena and the soldier in a room. When he sees this we see close ups of Selena’s face with fear written all over it and then Jim disappears. When he reappears he attacks the soldier. The way he goes about it is arguably the most gory scene.
He Game of Thrones‘ him and presses his thumbs in the soldiers skull. The shot is focused on Jim’s face where we see him unapologetically using all of his strength. The camera pans over to the face of the soldier so we can see what is happening and then we see Selena who is obviously having a lot of emotions. Jim’s unmerciful nature mimics that of someone who has been infected and since he has been gone, Selena raises her weapon to kill him.
Once he delivers the line “That was longer than a heartbeat” they passionately kiss. Even though they at both covered in blood which is gross, but that is beside the point. I guess what I am getting at is are we all inherently Infected? If so, what stops us from going crazy and behaving like the undead in the film? I propose that it is the human emotions like love and the connections we make with each other.
I mean, the Rage virus was supposedly created by caging monkeys and having them watch our news – this is obviously a commentary on how crazy our world can be – but they are presumably never shown anything else. In the absence of the good things in life, they go insane and I think that that is the same for us as humans. We do have a kind of “rage virus” inherently in us, but it is the good things in life like friendship, love and relationships that make us not go ape-crazy.
One last thing that I thought was great about this film was the music choice. There was a lot of suspenseful music or piano music when you expected it to be intense as well as a fun song when they’re making the trip to the encampment. I think this helps us as an audience with what we are supposed to feel in those moments.