how Danny Boyle reanimated the zombie movie

Sunlight falls on a sleeping man’s face and his eyelids open. He lies naked on a hospital bed, hooked up to a network of tubes that presumably kept him alive while he slept, though there is no one to explain what happened to him. The room he is in is abandoned. The same goes for the next hallway, the entrance to the hospital, and, spookily, the streets outside. The man, of course, slept through something big, but what? Is London now a nuclear exclusion zone? Was the city evacuated? Or worse?

The release of 28 Days Later in 2002 sparked a decade defined by its obsession with the walking dead. Zack Snyder launched his remake of Dawn of the Dead in 2004. This was followed by Steve Miner’s Day of the Dead (2008), the campy parody Zombieland (2009), and the TV series The Walking Dead (2010). Books capitalized on the trend, including Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide (2003) and World War Z (2006). Zombies have entered the popular consciousness so much that it’s become apparent, at least to millennial teenagers, that if you ask your friend about his “zombie plan”, he’ll have a detailed escape route mapped out in the event. of zombie apocalypse.

Part of the reason 28 Days Later has so effectively reinvented the genre is the debate that still confuses critics: does it even count as a zombie movie? Director Danny Boyle has spent the better part of two decades discussing the negative. “You can’t make a zombie movie today,” he told Time Out London. “Watching these movies from the 1970s, they came out of nuclear paranoia. It’s not that people are going to die, it’s the fear and uncertainty of what the radiation will do to the survivors. Nuclear weapons are still there, but this paranoia is not the same.

According to composer John Murphy, Boyle first described the project to him as “a zombie amateur movie”, but “after that first call, I don’t think we called it a zombie movie again. Danny was just trying to make the best movie possible and, to me, it was more of an apocalyptic road movie.

Yet undeniably, even while not trying to make a zombie movie, 28 Days Later inadvertently changed the way we imagine zombies, earning cult status in the horror canon that remains strong on occasion. its 20th birthday this month.. And whichever camp you fall on, it certainly started out as a zombie movie.

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