You wake up naked in a hospital bed, and you're confused. You stand up, take out the tubes running into your arm, and walk around the floor. Nobody is around and, from the looks of it, a tornado hit the floor you're on. You can't find anyone to tell you what the hell is going on, so you find some scrubs to wear, gorge yourself on Pepsi and candy bars, then head outside. You figure the tubes in your arm weren't necessary, so something is going right, but the signs aren't looking good. You walk out into the middle of a sunny London afternoon and nothing moves. No cars, no people, no noise...nothing.
The main character in 28 Days Later walks around a completely deserted London downtown. The image is so eerie that I couldn't concentrate on how frightened and confused he would have felt. All I could think was, "How in the world did they shoot these scenes?" I can't imagine any part of central London quiet at any hour, and here it is totally abandoned during daylight.
28 Days Later is more horrific in a thought provoking way than outright shit your pants scary. The storyline is straight-up survival, but the writing has some great moments of black humor and unconventional turns. Rage-infected "zombies" provide for plenty of gore and bloody slashing targets, but they aren't the only obstacle to staying alive 28 days after the opening scene. I don't want to give anything away, but the film has plenty of silly spots. The plot falls apart and loses the tight spin of the first half once you get to the whole matter of the red prom dresses and the reasons for their appearance.
I'm not sure if 28 Days Later wanted to be a zombie movie or a more serious film that happened to have zombies in it. The film moves between the two, hitting and missing the mark, but is ultimately entertaining with a mix of humor and suspense. Three unique things about 28 Days Later: Turbo-speed zombies (I mean fast), an incredible sequence of a deserted central London, and a hokey scene of sex-starved survival.