August 08, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

28 Days Later

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
108 minutes
Wide Release Date
06/27/03
performer
Naomie Harris, Noah Huntley, Cillian Murphy, Megan Burns, Christopher Eccleston, Brendan Gleeson
director
Danny Boyle
distributor
Fox Searchlight Pictures
author
Alex Garland
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Mystery and Thriller
We gave it a B+

At a recent showing of 28 Days Later, a vast majority of the audience got up and left the theater well before the closing credits stopped rolling. None of those people, in other words, bothered to sit through the downbeat ”alternate” ending that was tagged onto Danny Boyle’s zombie thriller starting July 25. I can’t say their lives will be any less rich for it. The revamped 28 Days Later may, in essence, have been a marketing ploy, but I still hoped that Boyle, by restoring the gloomier finale that had divided test audiences, would cast a no-future spell. Alas, the new version ends not with an apocalyptic bang but with a whimper of soggy pessimism. (Fear not: I won’t spoil the anticlimax.) Perhaps now alternate endings will stay put on DVD, where they belong.

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