I started out as a big fan of Danny Boyle and his films. My interest waned a bit though with some of his not so good US films. The Beach was nice to look at and that was about it. The other one, the one with Ewan and Cameron Diaz was a real stinker. With those thoughts in my head I went into 28 Days Later with zero expectations. It blew me away.
28 Days Later is set in Britain. A virus called Rage has been set loose and has ravaged the country. 28 days after the initial release of the virus, a man named Jim awakes from a coma after being hit by a car. The hospital he is in is empty. The virus has turned just about everybody in the country into murdering zombies. Jim wanders the empty streets of London wondering where everybody has gone. He soon is attacked by those that are infected. He gets saved by some survivors and joins with their group. The group decides to head to a nearby military base in the hopes of finding other survivors as well as getting somewhere safe to occupy.
28 Days Later is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The film was shot on digital video and it looks processed and filtered, and in its way is rather unique. Having seen it in theaters, it is easy to say that the DVD preserved the look down just right even it is an odd look. Flaws are carryovers from the digital video shoot. Some haloing and edge issues are present, which you could see in the theaters when it first came out. Also because of the extremely sharp picture the source flaws are highly visible. Sharpness as mentioned is great. Detail is terrific. Colors are accurate as expected with bold reds. Contrast and brightness settings seem just right too. This transfer is perfect for what it is plain and simple.
Adding greatly to the experience of the film is some great audio. The included Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is an aggressive and loud track. Range is terrific to keep you jumping out of your seat. Dialogue can very quiet and then when a zombie jumps out all hell breaks loose. Bass is deep and expansive. Surrounds are employed often and perfectly. They start subtle and rise to a crescendo of full force ahead surround sound. Separation from left to right is also superb. Having just watched a number of films such as X2, Dreamcatcher, and Matrix Reloaded, I have been utterly amazed at how good DVD audio can be. All of these films have fantastic audio and 28 Days Later fits in just fine. Great stuff and for you audiophile nuts, do try all of these discs out on your setups. You should come away very happy just as I did.
This DVD looks to be a direct port of the UK release. The extras are the same as far as I can tell which is good news for fans. First up is an audio commentary by director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland. The two discuss a good amount of stuff and go into some detail as to the ending they finally chose.
Next is the big goodie which consists of 3 alternate endings. One is the alternate job that was attached to the film once it was in theaters for a while. This to me is a better ending and nicely bleak. The second ending is a lot like the one chosen for the original print released in theaters. The third is a storyboard formatted one located on the second page of the ending menu. Easy to skip this one so make sure you don't.
Next are 6 deleted scenes. Commentary is available for these as well as the alternate endings.
Following right behind is a slide show presentation of stills, with audio commentary by Boyle. Also present in this neck of the woods you will find 2 trailers, an animated storyboard sort of trailer, and a music video by Jacknife Lee. Watch it after the film though.
Last is a featurette called Pure Rage: The Making of 28 Days Later. This one is your usual sort of thing but it is presented in a real life sort of fashion that I guess makes it slightly more interesting.
28 Days Later isn't overly original in its story elements but the execution makes it one of the most entertaining horror entries in recent years. Directory Boyle sort of lost my interest with The Beach and that Cameron Diaz flick, but he has fully captivated me again with 28 Days Later. Truly this is a must see and one heck of an underrated film. If you are a horror fan then seek this one out fast. The DVD is a great port of the region 2 with a solid transfer, blistering audio, and some quality extras. Definitely one to get one of the few titles that I say is a must own because the film is just that darn good.