October 31, 2010

Groovers and Mobsters Present: Horror

Since it's Halloween, and since us blogging types can't think of anything original to go with it, we're gonna write about scary movies. Groovers and Mobsters, as they so often do, are running a specific theme this month, the theme being Horror. BE AFRAID! Anyway, since I arrived early to the drawing of films, I was given top priority, and as such got my favorite horror film of the bunch! Enjoy!

Set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor... HELL YEAH!!!

"It's just people killing people. Which, to my mind, puts us in a state of normality right now."

A group of animal rights activists break into a laboratory, and, like big turkeys, release a monkey with a certain ailment. Said monkey is infected with Rage, a highly contagious, quick spreading virus that sends the host into a homicidal craze, causing them to run wild, killing and infecting everything they see. 28 days later, the entirety of England has been ravaged by the virus. Enter Jim, who awakes from a coma on to a dead world. As he walks through the abandoned London streets, he soon meets other survivors, and together, they try and escape the city and get to a military blockade. When they get there though, they find something far worse than the infection waiting for them. 


28 Days Later... was a real game changer for the zombie horror genre. Not only was it the first of its kind to incorporate zombies infected that sprint, it was also the first of its kind that seemed possible. There was a clear explanation behind the outbreak of the virus, and the way it spreads and behaves, though heavily fictionalized, is quite believable, making 28 Days Later... all the more terrifying. But, it's the quiet moments that really set Danny Boyle's film apart from its brothers. Early on in the film, Jim walks through a completely desolate and abandoned London. There is not a single person in the streets. The only vehicles he comes across are stalled in the middle of the road, having been destroyed or ransacked. The only clues he gets to his situation are the out of date newspapers that litter the sidewalk and the posters of missing people that adorn the walls. What is truly amazing about this is that Boyle and Co. achieved these images with absolutely no special effects. That's right! Zero! The shut down sections of London's streets and then filmed the scenes. Those early images are incredibly haunting are truly frightening. 28 Days Later... keeps that level of terror up for the entire run time, despite the film going a little off the rails in the third act. Imagine that. A horror movie these days that is actually scary. 

'snarl' 'growl' 'roar' 'vomit blood'

Pretty much every single modern zombie movie owes something to 28 Days Later.... Remember how cool it was to see zombies running in Zack Snyder's remake of Dawn of the Dead? 28 Days Later... did it first, and better. Remember how, in I Am Legend, the shots of Will Smith walking through an empty city looked really cool? 28 Days Later... did it first, and without any special effects. Danny Boyle's film ushered in a new era for the modern zombie movie. It did away with the usual conventions of the genre, chiefly the concept of a slow moving zombie that anyone could get away from. It was the first legitimately scary movie of its kind since Night of the Living Dead. That one was scary because the concept was brand new. 28 Days Later... is scarier because it takes that concept, and updates it to fit in the real world. Hey, it made me believe that a zombie apocalypse could happen. That's gotta count for something.

Ok, fine, they aren't really zombies; they're diseased humans, but come on! Give a guy a break! Zombie movie is easier to write, say, and read then diseased human movie! Let it go (Here's looking at you, Nick)!

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