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28 Days Later... (2002)

R  |   |  Horror  |  27 June 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 279,872 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 1,429 user | 217 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jukka Hiltunen ...
Emma Hitching ...
Alexander Delamere ...
Kim McGarrity ...
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Justin Hackney ...


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. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


His fear began when he woke up alone. His terror began when he realised he wasn't. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and gore, language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 June 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Exterminio  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,500,079 (UK) (1 November 2002)


$164,846 (Hong Kong) (28 November 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The scene where Jim, Selena and Mark shelter from the explosion by hiding between the windows was based upon a photo Danny Boyle had seen of a bomb blast in Northern Ireland. See more »


The common trope of the zombies being undead with a craving for brains (or human flesh) is notably and deliberately averted in this film, pinning the reason for the devastation on the rage virus which turns people into violently aggressive killers - but this opens up a considerable plot hole: Why don't the rage victims kill each other? "Normal" zombies don't because the undead kill the living but the rage-infected seem to act more like a dog in the final stage of rabies, attacking anything that moves and/or makes noise - the infected have no reason not to attack each other. See more »


[first lines]
Activist: Bingo.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Other than the Fox Searchlight logo, there are no opening credits whatsoever. The title of the movie, 28 Days Later, only appears as a descriptive subtitle. See more »


Featured in 30 Greatest Disaster Movies (2015) See more »


An Ending (Ascent)
Written and Performed by Brian Eno
Courtesy of Virgin EG Records Ltd.
Under License from EMI Film and Television Music
Published by Upala Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A modern classic.
19 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

Perhaps I'm a little biased. After all, this is set in the city I live and work in, and seeing Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus, which I pass by every morning and which are usually teeming with crowds of people, completely empty was enough to send shivers down my spine. Usually when you watch a movie like this it's located in some nondescript Midwestern village, which makes it easy to detach yourself from the events unfolding on screen. But seeing them occur in the place you call home is something that gives it an entirely new sense of reality, and one I was previously unaccustomed to.

Still, judging 28 Days Later entirely on its merit as a film, it's easy to arrive at the conclusion that it's a fantastic achievement, as well as a coming-of-age of sorts for director Danny Boyle; I can't say the MTV-inspired vanity of The Beach, or the self-consciously trendy posturing of Trainspotting appealed to me, and to my shame I initially expected 28 Days Later to be given a similar treatment. Thankfully, my fears proved unfounded, discarded straight after a opening sequence which is at once effortless and fearsome. The rest of the movie was a joy. A terrifying joy, but a joy nonetheless.

It's true that sometimes minimalism can be more effective than overblown bravado, and it's definitely true for this movie. It's the scenes of complete silence which get to you the most; an entire metropolis empty. The grainy picture serves to add a documentary-style quality to the film, which makes the whole situation seem almost too real to bear. Definitely a wise choice to film this on digital video.

You will occasionally meet people who thought 28 Days Later wasn't 'scary' or 'gory' enough. These are the same people who will tell you that 2001 was 'boring', or that Memento was 'confusing'. Ignore them. Others didn't understand the purpose of the second half, or were confused by its change of pace, feeling that it distracted from the movie as a whole. However, I personally regard the second half as very important because, as another reviewer pointed out, it makes a very succinct point: What is scarier, the end of the world, or having the world repopulated by maniacs? That, I think, is where the real Horror of 28 Days Later lies.

28 Days Later, like the Romero zombie flicks of yore, is ultimately an allegory of the days we are living in, an age in which we are constantly confronted with violence by the media (much like the ape right at the start of the film), where violence begets violence, and humanity faces an uncertain future. I applaud Danny Boyle's bravery in making 28 Days Later because he undoubtedly took a big commercial risk when the majority of the cinema-going public might prefer escapism to words of caution. Remember, Rage is a human-made disease. Quite the allegory there.

Like most great masterpieces of their time, 28 Days Later has been misunderstood by a considerable amount of people. I have no doubt it will go down in history as a classic, the one movie which perfectly sums up the confused era we are living in. And even if you didn't like it, it would be advisable to give 28 Days Later another chance; it's a haunting experience when looked at from the right angle. Danny Boyle has many years left in him, I hope he'll continue making more movies like this.

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