28 Weeks Later

Let’s be real. This movie was bad.

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This seems to be a thing. A great first movie followed by a bad action sequel. This is the Maze Runner 2 of horror movies. Somehow worse than even Aliens.

There was so much that I hated about it. It was boring, the characters made stupid decisions (a horror trope, but these were B-movie silly in a movie of A-listers), and the plot progression and points were ridiculous.

Not gonna waste a lot of time on this stinker. What a shame!

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28 Days Later

More than any other genre, horror allows for dissecting some other problem, whether it’s lycanthropy as a metaphor for change, vampirism as a metaphor for sex, or zombies as a metaphor for loss of identity. The best horror movies aren’t just trying to scare you, they’re also trying to talk about a subject, I think. 28 Days Later isn’t the scariest zombie movie by any means, but it’s absolutely one of the best, and I know that’s a really vanilla opinion, but it’s true.

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It’s a familiar scene. Waking up in the hospital. There’s no one there. You go outside. No one there. You’re trying to figure out what’s going on, and you have your first encounter with them. You don’t know yet that they are no longer people.

The movie plays with these classic zombie tropes (what do I know, maybe they weren’t so classic 20 years ago), but it takes its time setting up all of the pieces. Cillian Murphy teams up with two people. One is infected, and we get our first scene of how dangerous it is, because Naomie Harris immediately kills the man who was infected. What I find really interesting is that zombies are known for being slow, but this movie released so long ago has fast zombies. Here in Korea, Train for Busan just came out this year, and all of my students were so proud of their Korean zombies being so fast. Admittedly, the zombies in Train to Busan are insanely fast, but I was still surprised to see the speed in this movie. I love the speed though, because it makes every scene that much tenser.

It goes on like this for a while, from scares to tearjerkers, until we finally reach the third act. Christopher Eccleston’s ragtag group of soldiers and their plan to rebuild society. Normalcy. This is where the movie shines so brightly, and it’s something that I mentioned when talking about Paranorman as well.

Society was all but destroyed in just 28 days, and these nine men are there to rebuild it. They’ve built a perfectly-protected bunker, have a zombie tied up for research purposes (I love this bit of Chekhov’s Gun), and its all set. Seems pretty perfect until you realize that Eccleston has promised these men women for the purpose of population growth, and you see that there is no safety, either inside this protected bunker with the people who you think should be protecting you, nor outside with the zombies. That’s where “loss of identity” comes in, because this group of people is a single-minded entity, just like a zombie. They want to restore society, but in a way, society was already bad for so many people before.

In any case, I love the cat-and-mouse play at the end when hell breaks loose. Everyone was great in this movie, and the zombies were so cute. A+ movie, I didn’t even realize it was Danny Boyle until the end. That’s why!

L’horreur, l’horreur…!

I love horror movies, because of all the film genres you can never get a bad horror movie. Either it’s great and scares you, or it’s bad to the point of comedy. You can’t lose!

I’ve been looking up French horror movies on Netflix, but have so far only seen two. I’ll start by talking about Les yeux sans visage, an old black and white movie that isn’t scary to a modern audience but is very well-shot with beautiful cinematography and an intriguing story.

It’s not on Netflix though.

To my instant queue however, I recently added Mutants, Sheitan, Ils, and Vertige. I’ve heard good things, so I’m excited.

Earlier this week I watched La horde on Netflix, a zombie movie about a couple of cops who infiltrate a drug dealer’s hideout to avenge their friend’s death. Unfortunately, a zombie apocalypse arrives at the same time! It sounds comical, but it’s a really good zombie film with an interesting ending!

I don’t want to ramble on about great horror movies I’ve seen (because everyone knows the great ones), but if anyone has seen the Spanish film [REC] and then the American remake Quarantine, then you know what a terrible remake the latter is. I hesitantly put on Quarantine 2: The Terminal last night, expecting a bad movie, but it turned out to be a highly interesting sequel, much better than the first. It has the typical plot holes and facepalm moments of any horror movie, but they are fewer and further between than usual. It’s a really interesting setting (come on, a behind-the-scenes look at an airplane terminal! how cool is that!) and interesting characters who make for the most part good decisions.

[REC]3: Genesis is on Netflix, so I’ll be looking forward to watching that, though I haven’t seen the second one.

If you know any good horror movie suggestions, let me know! Even if they aren’t on Netflix, I’m certain I can find them somewhere.