Artist: "John Murphy, Various Artists"
Album: "28 Days Later"
Genre: Soundtracks
Label: DNA

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 10/6/2009

Review: 28 Days Later is one of the better zombie movies to come out in the last decade, so it stands to reason that the soundtrack is great too. This album is mostly film score with a couple songs by Grandaddy, Brian Eno, and Blue States thrown in (disappointingly, due to its length and rights issues, the Godspeed You! Black Emperor song "East Hastings" is not included, which is a shame, as it creates one of the more powerful combinations of music and images in the movie).

The soundtrack is largely moody and ambient, with brief spurts of harsh, grating guitar tossed in whenever accompanying a tense scene in the movie. One of my favorite tracks is "Jim's Parents (Abide With Me)", a variation on an old Christian hymn beautifully sung by Perri Alleyne. Her voice is ethereal and tranquil as the words echo a capella, recalling one of the sadder scenes in the movie. She returns again on a similarly moving version of "Ave Maria" that blends into a score track called "Taxi". It's a little island of beauty in a sea of brutality.

The Grandaddy song "AM180" sounds a little jarring on first listen, next to all the others, but it should be--the zombpocalypse is a rather jarring thing, after all. This accompanied one of the happier sequences in the film, and it stands in stark contrast to the rest of the bleak music. Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)" with its floaty keyboards is sad and dreamy, with maybe just the tiniest bit of hope mixed into the melancholy.

Composer John Murphy skillfully blended his own disturbing score with religious hymns or classical pieces of religious significance, which worked well to play up the horror of the zombie-infested setting. Hearing the religious-themed combined with the mad religious apocalyptic signage in the movie really makes us wonder "Where is our God now?"

"Frank's Death - Soldiers" mixed with Mozart's "Requiem in D Minor" is super sad, sounding like something that could have come from the American McGee's Alice soundtrack.

For months I had this cd in my stereo set to wake me up in the mornings. It was mostly laziness that took me forever to change it out, but it's a testament to how good (and jarring) this soundtrack is that I never got tired enough of it to bother switching it out for the longest time. If you enjoyed the movie, there's a good chance you already have the soundtrack, and if you don't, you're really missing out.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Forum Virgin
Oct 7th, 2009, 12:04 PM
The omission of GSYBE is a crime. The scene that includes East Hastings sets the tone for the entire movie and would not have been the same without it. I felt it was the perfect marriage of music and cinema.
Turrican't. :(
Oct 7th, 2009, 02:32 PM
Brian Eno is one of the greatest composers ever. Did you know that the track that features in 28dl ("An Ending (Ascent)") was originally composed for a NASA documentary? If it's good enough for NASA, it's good enough for a zombie movie! ^_^

BTW the reason the GSYBE track is not on the soundtrack is because they are hardcore anti-capitalists, in fact Boyle had to fight with GSYBE to get the song in the film but after he showed them a later draft of the screenplay they let him use it (or so I've heard). That doesn't make it any less of a depressing ommission though. Pure beauty in audio form.
Forum Virgin
Oct 7th, 2009, 04:55 PM
Great soundtrack. I was hooked on it for a long ass time when I first got it. "In the House(In a Heartbeat)" is my favorite of the whole album.
Oct 7th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Definitely a good soundtrack - just the thing to have on your ipod when walking through empty streets. Altho the absence of GSYBE is a real disappointment coz it set the whole tone of the movie, it still works without it.

Unusually, the soundtrack to the sequel is just as good, even if the film was far inferior to its predecessor.
Oct 9th, 2009, 12:35 PM
You suck at listening to music.
That damn kid
Oct 9th, 2009, 03:32 PM
Who the hell are you talking to testtube?

Also I've really liked the music in this movie but I never knew where you could buy movie soundtracks.
Wasteland Expert
Oct 11th, 2009, 01:12 AM
On a side note, Grandaddy's contribution, "AM180", is also the theme tune for Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe. Mr. Brooker is a super hilarious, snarky tv personality in England who rips on everything bad in the media, on tv, or in the news. He also did a zombie flick for Britain's Channel 4 called Dead Set.
Turrican't. :(
Oct 11th, 2009, 10:05 AM
Protoclown, please consider reviewing "Dead Cities" by Future Sound Of London sometime.
Oct 12th, 2009, 09:40 PM
28 Days Later was better than 28 Weeks Later.
guts beer + metal
Oct 24th, 2009, 02:58 PM
I think 28 days later really sucked...