28 Days Later is a British horror film released in 2002 which tells the story of an incurable virus that sweeps through the population, and a small band of survivors who try to reach safety.

It was written by Alex Garland and directed by Danny Boyle - also famous for directing Train spotting (1996) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

The cast included relative unknowns Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris and Megan Burns in leading roles alongside well-known character actors Brendan Gleeson and Christopher Eccleston.

Much of the filming was completed before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The film crew was allowed to close off small sections of London early in the morning to complete shots of deserted streets in just a few minutes. Danny Boyle is quoted as saying that he doubted whether they would have been given permission to close off Whitehall if they had been filming those scenes after 9/11.

The film was a hit with critics and the public alike and was a box office hit. On an original budget of around £5 million it made around $82 million worldwide. Many people believe it reinvigorated the zombie film genre. A sequel was made in 2007 called 28 Weeks Later.

Plot of 28 Days Later

Animal Rights activists break into a primate research facility in Cambridge intent on freeing the chimpanzees kept there for medical research purposes. Although they are warned that the chimps are infected, the activists continue with their plan. A chimp attacks one of the female activists and she is immediately infected and spreads the infection to the other activists and a senior scientist who tries to kill her.

Jim, a bicycle courier, wakes up from a coma in hospital 28 days later and finds that London is deserted and something terrible has clearly happened. More victims of the virus appear and try to attack him but he is saved by two other survivors - Mark and Selena. Jim learns that the infection makes people riot and kill mindlessly and that is why Britain has been laid to waste.

The three survivors head to Jim's family home and discover that Jim's parents have killed themselves. While there Mark becomes infected and is immediately killed by Selena. She tells Jim that the virus takes hold in 20 seconds and she adds that she wouldn't hesitate to kill Jim too if he became infected.

Two other survivors, Frank and his daughter Hannah, join them and try to find sanctuary but Frank is also killed by soldiers after he becomes infected.

The three remaining survivors learn there is a theory that only Britain is infected - but now they also face the threat of a band of British soldiers led by a Major with radical ideas about how to deal with the infected and repopulate the country.

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