Right. For anyone tired of the much hackneyed "Hooray for America saving the day!" genre disaster/zombie film, this is your answer. An English bicycle courier is your new hero.
Essentially, it's a story of survival, a little like Charlton 'Guns is neat' Heston in The Omega Man, but with a different angle. The audience is a little more knowledgeable than the hero; we know about the virus breaking out and conquering the general publics bad side, but we don't know what happened beyond that. We see the beginning of the struggle against a raging tide of humanity gone nasty.
The virus? It's an escapee of an animal testing lab. Chimps were being infected with some wacky human rage virus (as can only be thought up by scientists who go bad) and unwittingly released by animal liberationists who thought they were doing everyone a favour.
Waking up from a 28 day coma, our hero finds that there is nobody alive, except for a few rage-infected zombie freaks; zombie freaks like nothing better than to beat him senseless. A few questions remain before we should exit the hospital scene. Why was his room locked? Why was the key under the door? Why did we spend so long looking at this man lying naked?
Yes, there are plot anomalies, but this doesn't mean it isn't a great film. The camera work and music at time make watching a real effort, yet turning away is impossible. It's a beautifully horrifying film, with much tension and many truly creepy moments. It's been a while since I've heard an audience gasp—gasp in unison at scenes and concepts that regular folks wouldn't normally think up and put in a film.
Alternate endings provide few answers; posing more questions than anything else. Why must fools leave the cinema as soon as the credits roll? They deserve to miss out.
There is no rating; no stars nor score out of five. See it if you want; I don't much care either way. I thought it was the greatest film I've paid to see all year. I'm probably going to buy the DVD and if you didn't like it, then you can't come and drink beers and watch it with me.
Reviewed on Saturday, 6 September 2003