28 Weeks Later (2004)
I recently re-watched 28 Weeks Later and was struck again by the whole bloody drama of it all. Not drama like Mean Girls, TOWIE or RuPaul’s Drag Race – no, drama as in super intense scenes where eyes are gorged, the infected run fast and blood is continually shed. For a sequel 28 Weeks Later isn’t bad at all.
And whilst the cool ideas, sped up camera work and insane gory bits of course contribute to the overall effect, a lot of the cred for this intensity should be given…..nay, MUST be given, to the film’s soundtrack.
I’m lucky to own a copy of this. It’s rare (1500 manufactured) and, for what it is, pretty damn expensive. I mean if it were the price of a Louis Vuitton handbag or a 4K flat screen TV it’d be a bargain. But it’s a CD. So it’s a lot to ask for a CD. I’d been looking for a ‘reasonably’ priced copy for years and didn’t hold much hope of finding one for less than £100. And for a poor little working class prole like myself that basically means I didn’t hold much hope of ever owning it.
The reason I wanted this particular CD so badly was partly because of it’s rarity and partly because I own the first soundtrack which is far easier to get your hands on (and which I reviewed here) but also because I genuinely love the truly stunning music in this movie. It is breathtaking, truly breathtaking. The fact that both this and Danny Boyle’s Sunshine were released in the same year (2007) and composed by the same man (John Murphy) is no surprise at all.
Both scores are heavenly, ethereal and honestly soooo beautiful. In fact there’s a couple of tracks on 28 Weeks Later which are completely reminiscent of Adagio in D Minor (the Sunshine theme) – tracks 5 and 22 both heavily remind me of this score and the deep, rich atmosphere.
Now obviously I own soundtracks that I just adore for the music. I also have soundtracks that might be worth cool points with fellow geeks. I even own soundtracks that are rare and a little bit valuable… But I don’t often find one that score (all puns intended) full marks on everything.
And that is exactly what this soundtrack is. PERFECT IN EVERY WAY.
It was actually on holiday in 2018 whilst staying in LA that I found it. And yeah I casually dropped that into blog conversation whilst wearing my make believe Ray Ban sunglasses – e.g. Primark. And I’d found it at a price I could afford! Yay! $30.00 in the absolute aladdin’s cave that is Amoeba Music – such a cool shop. I bought a hella lot of soundtracks that trip, most of them only a dollar or so, but this was the double chocolate icing on my cherry cake.
So I’m sure we’re all familiar with the brilliant In the House/ In a Heartbeat that plays in 28 Day’s Later climatic final scenes as Cillian Murphy battles the infected and the rain and the horrible rapist soldiers – yuck. It’s definitely an extremely well known and popular score, there’s tons of remixes on YouTube and in fact, I think it’s even broken out of movie land, appreciated by one and all who hear it, wherever that may be. The slow, atmospheric build-up which leads into a huge, dramatic crescendo is hard to beat.
But John Murphy takes that incredible score from the first movie and turns it into something far bigger. Whilst 28 Days Later had one great score and an average at best rest of soundtrack, this whole collection is outstanding.
Alongside the reprises of In the House / In a Heartbeat (particularly with tracks 1 and 10) I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the soundtrack is some classic symphony from start to finish (as some soundtracks are) but it’s pretty darn close and the music is beautiful, divine, despairing, spine tingling, gorgeous, magnificent and unforgettable. Truly one of the best. And then you have a full 13 minute interview at the end with John Murphy too.
Spectacular soundtrack. And upon reflection, probably worth the bigger bucks too.
I really love your soundtrack reviews. I don’t usually listen to them all that much, so I appreciate them more living vicariously through you.
I so seldom see movies these days but this one I did see. I just remember being on edge all the time, I don’t remember any of the music – is that good or bad ?
Bad! Only joking 🙂 being on edge all the time is good! Would you watch it again?
You’ve inspired me to listen to both soundtracks. Thanks Emma 😃
Woo! Do it!!!!
I have! So good!
Yay! You have awesome taste in music. 😁 I remember listening to In the House/ In a Heartbeat a lot on my walk to work at my previous job. I hated that place so it fit the mood of my walk perfectly. 😉
Ha ha, love that! Thank you Miss Mutant, so do you 🙂 how you been?
Okay at the moment. Lucky to be able to work from home through all of this. Hope all is well with you too? 😊
I was furloughed last year for about six months then lost my job lol. I found my current job in October, doing OK so far, still commuting in and out the office which can be a pain (especially when the weather is like this!) but also keeps some semblance of normality I suppose.
Glad you’re ok! How’s your kid doing? 🙂 Do you still play Song 2 when they brush their teeth?! You take care x
Oh no! Sorry to hear that about your job. I know so many people who were furloughed – it’s awful to have lost the job after that. Hope the new job is okay! Yeah, this weather is the worst. So cold right now. 😦
Ha! Forgot about the Song 2 thing! She’s doing well despite all the home schooling. Is a pre-teen now. I could maybe play System Of A Down during toothbrushing now – she seems to be more into stuff like that lately. Lol. You take care too! 😊
I’m sure I saw the first 28 Days Later film but not the sequel.
I’m one of the few people who doesn’t notice the film soundtrack unless it is full of pop songs! 😛 That said, my Dad used to buy soundtrack albums to all the sci-fi films of the 70s and 80s, like Star Wars, Superman, Battlestar Galactica etc. that I often listened to as a kid. I also had Queen’s Flash Gordon soundtrack album on cassette tape which I played to death, and that is a mix of pop songs and bespoke instrumental pieces.
The only soundtrack album I bought that wasn’t pop songs was the original OST for the 1961 film West Side Story. 🙂
This was awesome!
Thanks Jay!!! ❤
This is terrific. It reminds me to re-watch this thriller and also how important music is for a film – from mood and tone to even punchline at times…and how some filmmakers use music without regard to either…great writeup!
I have seen both films, but would be pushed to remember any of their soundtracks.
Obviously, I am not ‘soundtrack geeky’ enough, though I do have the ‘Reservoir Dogs’ soundtrack on CD. 🙂
As ever, Pete. XXX
I’m a bit surprised, the score from 28 Days Later is particularly well known! You’d know it if you heard it I’m sure. I have Reservoir Dogs too 🙂 I have all Tarantino’s soundtracks, including the Pulp Fiction special edition which I got from a charity shop for £1 !!!!! Hope you are well 🙂 xxx
Thanks, Em. I’m still alive, which never fails to surprise me these days. 🙂 🙂 xxx
Isn’t that opening to the movie incredible? Capping it off with the music is just amazing.
So amazing! It really does take you aback when you watch it. I’m getting goosebumps as I write this….is that cool or sad?! Ha ha.
I think that’s fantastic!
That’s a sweet little gem right there. Hang on to that one! Nice post!
Thanks Travis! 🙂