In the years following 28 Days Later’s release, the undead have enjoyed mainstream success rivaling their initial cinematic heyday. Though a recent ill-conceived intrusion into Victorian literature might sound like sharks jumping, the oversaturation of the zombie market can’t tarnish the startling originality and genuine terror Danny Boyle’s 2002 film invoked. Plagued by the “Rage,” the film’s ghouls were not only the most sprightly zombies yet put to film, they also managed to provide a chilling and timely rumination on a post-9/11 society—while scaring the living crap out of you. Unlike the films that would come in its wake, including some serious clunkers from early zombie prophet George Romero, 28 Days Later’s deft touch has left its imitators pounding their fists in more ways than one.
THE FILM SHOWS AT 9:05 p.m. at THE AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER, 8633 COLESVILLE ROAD, SILVER SPRING. $6–$10. (301) 495-6720.