Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland
Stars: Alex Palmer, Bindu De Stoppani, Jukka Hiltunen, David Schneider
Runtime: 113 min
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Released: 27 Jun 2003
Synopsis: Animal activists invade a laboratory with the intention of releasing chimpanzees that are undergoing experimentation, infected by a virus -a virus that causes rage. The naive activists ignore the pleas of a scientist to keep the cages locked, with disastrous results. Twenty-eight days later, our protagonist, Jim, wakes up from a coma, alone, in an abandoned hospital. He begins to seek out anyone else to find London is deserted, apparently without a living soul. After finding a church, which had become inhabited by zombie like humans intent on his demise, he runs for his life. Selena and Mark rescue him from the horde and bring him up to date on the mass carnage and horror as all of London tore itself apart. This is a tale of survival and ultimately, heroics, with nice subtext about mankind’s savage nature.
Late one night, British animal rights activists break into a science laboratory to free chimpanzees being used for medical research. Disregarding the warnings of the local scientist, the activists ultimately free the Rage virus subjects, which attack and infect the activists and scientist.
Twenty-eight days later, a bicycle courier named Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakens from a coma in a deserted hospital. As he leaves the hospital, he discovers London is completely deserted and rife with signs of catastrophe. Jim is soon discovered and chased through the streets by infected people before being rescued by two survivors, Selena (Naomie Harris) and Mark (Noah Huntley), who rush him to their hideout in the London Underground. They reveal that while Jim was comatose, the virus spread uncontrollably among the populace, turning most people into vicious monsters (“the Infected”) and resulting in societal collapse, possibly on a global scale.
Selena and Mark accompany Jim to his parents’ house, where he discovers that his parents committed suicide. That night, several Infected attack the survivors, and when the fight ends Mark is bleeding. Selena immediately hacks him to death with a machete, explaining to Jim that infection is spread through the blood and overwhelms its victims in seconds, rendering them deadly to others. She warns that should he become infected, she will kill him “in a heartbeat.” As the two journey through the derelict city the next day, Selena rules out intimacy between her and Jim, declaring that only the fight for survival remains. They discover two more survivors, Frank (Brendan Gleeson) and his teenage daughter Hannah (Megan Burns), holed up in an abandoned apartment tower. Invited to spend the night, Selena and Jim privately debate whether they should remain with Frank and Hannah. Jim says they seem like good people, while Selena fears they will slow her down, warning Jim that putting others ahead of one’s own personal survival is a sure way to get killed.