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28 Days Later / Dawn of the Dead / The Descent

Reed Rothchild


Which ones have you seen?  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Which ones have you seen?

    • 28 Days Later (2002)
    • Dawn of the Dead (2004)
    • The Descent (2005)
    • None of the above

28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later (2002) - IMDb

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

Here it is.  The film that changed horror forever.

Do I think that change was for the better?  Yes, yes I do.  Seems like a pretty open-and-shut case to me.  Things got real visceral, real fast after this, which is exactly the sort of shake-up the genre needed to keep things fresh.

Nowadays, I think the film still stands strong.  Cillian Murphy is great as the lead, and the opening shots of the deserted streets are highly effective.

Is it perfect?  No.  I don't really buy the "superhero" turn at the end of the movie, which makes no sense.  And the way the film was shot with the crappiest digital cameras possible, no doubt intended to make the film feel more "real" or "intimate" or something, doesn't really work for me.  I want picture where I can actually see clearly, if at all possible.  Not something that looks like it's streaming in low resolution over the internet.

That aside, it's still a classic film that everyone needs to watch.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Dawn of the Dead (2004) - IMDb

A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

The other big zombie film that shook up horror during the mid-2000s.  I was floored by this movie when it first came out, and I still highly enjoy it to this day.

First off, the opening scene is one of the best in recent horror history.  They hit it out of the park.

Second, I love the cast.  Phenomenal job across the board.

Third, some people hate the Richard Cheese cover song played to lighten the mood.  I love it.  Very fitting.

Fourth, other than the setting, a few references, and a few cameos from guys like Tom Savini, this has nothing in common with the original film.  They are completely different in plot, characters, setpieces, and overall tone.  There really isn't any reason to compare the two.

Finally, I know Zack Snyder's legacy is kind of all over the place after this strong start to his career.  But when he's on, he's on.

And James Gunn, well, he went on to big things for a reason.  Dude's a talent.

The Descent (2005)

The Descent - Rotten Tomatoes

A caving expedition goes horribly wrong.

I remember the first time I watched this movie.  There was quite a bit of buzz around it, so I was psyched to finally rent it (or maybe I blind bought it, who can remember?).  And let me tell you, that initial 45 minutes is just brutal.  Gripping, terrifying stuff.  And it's just a crew of women going on holiday, spelunking!

Seriously, that shit will make anyone develop a case of claustrophobia.  If you are claustrophobic, stay far, far away from this movie.  You can trust me on that one.

...then the rest of the movie happens, and that's also really good in a completely separate way.  Kind of a like a double "bang for your buck."


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I enjoyed 28 days later and the sequel.  I always wished they had made another one.  

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28 Days Later is one of my personal favorite films and I've seen it several dozen times. Between it and Return of the Living Dead, I call them the pinnacle of zombie cinema (the former of the more serious, dramatic variety and the latter of the satire, deconstruction and reimagination of the zombie survival trope). I like the small cast and the razor-focus of 28 Days Later on the trials and tribulations of the characters. I didn't like 28 Weeks Later much at all, watched it twice and quickly forgot about it.

I think I used to like 2004's Dawn of the Dead more than I currently do. I still think of it as a film with plenty of good going for it but I don't think it has aged for me quite as well as other zombie films that I feel have more to offer in terms of story/character nuance, special effects or just plain nostalgia.

The Descent was...okay...but nothing that stuck with me. Probably better than most horror films of the last 20 years but that's not quite enough for me.

Edited by Webhead123
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