Today I was listening to the music from “28 Days Later”, the theme song. If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out because it will probably be the best decision you make the entire week. And also, check out “28 Weeks Later” because it’s just as good, but is the second of the two films. It’s this that brings you my next post. It is my inspiration for probably my first of many posts into the music behind the pictures that move on screen. Music is the life-force that brings movies together. For me, it sets the tone and mood for the picture, and can vary in emotion throughout any particular film. This post will be about the movie that brought back zombie movies, it made them cool and intense all over again for me. “28 Days Later” was for me, the climax of the genre, equalled only by “28 Weeks Later” and one reason for this was its music.
There is one extremely haunting melody that plays throughout the movie. It’s linked below, but don’t go to it right away. Watch the movie first, because you the film really fits the music in well. The tone it sets is sombre. It’s a post apocalyptic world, which has been ravaged by a virus that makes people ravaged. The song is called “In a house, in a heartbeat” by John Murphy. It’s a simple sequence of notes that chill you to your bones, and its repetition is what gives it its power. Listening to it right now makes me relive what was occurring in the movie at the times during which it was played, and the repetition makes it seem as if the read doesn’t stop, and the evil doesn’t give up.
The score adds to the movie without a doubt. It leaves the viewer with the feeling of deep helplessness, but as it picks up, it seems to show the power the person has in their fight against the tyranny. The film utilizes this idea to the “T” by focusing on Cillian Murphy’s character during these epic battles with the zombies, while also showing his fight with other oppressors in his life. It’s a political commentary on the state of our world, and alludes to the zombie genre as being like any other genre available to the masses.
You should check out this movie if you want to hear how well music can be integrated into a movie. It’s a shame more movies don’t use the sense of anticipation and anxiousness that “28 Days” uses to get its message across. Some films use many different tracks, while others use tracks that drown out any emotional and psychological ties one may have to the story through tough obtrusive music. In my opinion, the best music is music that compliments all the other things that work well in a particular film. “28” does that, and it’s an impressive feat to observe. It’s quite the experience, and something other sound editors should strive to replicate.