I always liked post-apocalyptic settings, and in 28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle, it’s the zombie apocalypse, which happens after a bunch of animal activists break into a research lab and free a chimpanzee carrying a deadly “rage” virus. Once a person is infected, they have 20 seconds before they turn into a mindless berserk monster. As the film’s title suggests, you don’t get to see the collapse of the society, instead the action switches to our hero Jim (Cillian Murphy), a bicycle courier who wakes up in the hospital after suffering a road accident. Emerging from his coma, he wanders the silent, deserted streets of London, made even more eerie by the total lack of soundtrack. These early scenes of the abandoned metropolis and familiar postcard locations stripped of life are probably the most striking sequences in the film.
I was glad I wasn’t the only person interested in the 10am Saturday session of this movie at the Palace Cinema Como. It’s no fun being by yourself in an empty cinema, as I found out last year. Luckily, two more people showed up to sit behind me mid-commercials, and even better, they turned out to be a nice quiet couple who didn’t act as if they were watching Netflix at home, so I didn’t have to shush or employ a basilisk stare.