28 days later

Although the message isn’t particularly new, the film has a lot to say about our current era of disbelief in governmental institutions and civilized society. The military broadcast is a key part of the narrative, as it promises the solution to the outbreak. Various characters’ levels of belief in the institutions of civilization are also reflected in their level of hope for their future. While Frank is optimistic about Hannah’s future, Jim and Selena have become cynical and have resigned themselves to the disorder. In a way, they are correct: the film contributes to the paranoia of post-9/11 America.

Infected population starves out of existence

A world where the Infected population starves to death is the setting for a novel called 28 Days Later. The novel explores race and infection, which have influenced racism for hundreds of years. During the time of the apocalypse, infected people become nonhuman. After 28 days, the remaining humans survive and start rebuilding civilization. The survivors of the novel are Jim, Selena, and Hannah, who live in a small cottage in the country.

The film is a mixture of genres, and thematic elements of many other movies and books are infused throughout the film. Apocalyptic genres, including “Day of the Triffids” by John Wyndham, Geoff Murphy’s The Quiet Earth, and Thom Eberhardt’s Night of the Comet, are referenced throughout, as is every real-life virus scare, including SARS and AIDS. Ultimately, the movie has a maniacal mash-up sensibility, lurching from moment to moment and containing foreboding toward modern societies.

Infected people have partially developed sapience, but they have a short attention span. They become frustrated quickly, and no one has the patience to open a can. Instead, they smash it open with the nearest heavy object. Infected people have never been seen cooking, beyond burning things on a pre-existing fire or gas stove. And they have never tried to drive a car, let alone drive one.

Infected population unfurls a message

After a series of unfortunate events, the world of ’28 Days Later’ has been shaken by a new threat. The infected population has been infected with a disease called the Rage Virus. Infected people suffer from uncontrollable rage and act in irrational ways. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent this virus.

In the opening scene of the film, animal rights activists liberate chimps from a primate research facility. They discover that the apes were kept in tiny cages, strapped to a table, and fed violent media. They try to talk the activists out of liberating the animals, but the scientist at the primate research lab tries to persuade them otherwise. He argues that the animals are “possessed” by a “rage” that threatens their species.

Film contributes to post-9/11 paranoia

The movies that contributed to our sense of insecurity after 9/11 were filled with dark and violent themes. While Hollywood shied away from warlike or patriotic themes after 9/11, after 2005, it began marching to the military’s beat and war movies dominated the US box office charts. Today, filmmakers are trying to make serious films that address the aftermath of the attacks. Here are some of my picks.

The films of the Bush-Cheney Era reflected the “desert of the real.” The images and the language used to depict such horrific events were simplified through visual content. Films also offered moral guidance, unity, and a sense of destiny. Moreover, Hollywood films have addressed the sense of vulnerability and shattered innocence that plagued American society after the attacks. As a result, we have come to associate the Bush-Cheney Era with an elevated level of paranoia, especially in popular culture.

Hollywood’s reticence to depict 9/11 as blockbuster entertainment was replaced with an overtly political approach in the movies after the attacks. By 2013, movies like G.I. Joe Retaliation, White House Down, and Olympus Has Fallen featured major American institutions being taken over or destroyed by terrorists. Suddenly, audiences seemed to be emotionally prepared to see such films, including the destruction of Air Force One. Some observers even concluded that Americans were mentally recovered from 9/11.

As President Bush’s frame of 9/11 as a struggle between “civilization” and “savagery” draws from a long history of American discourse, the conflation of danger and difference has been central to the formation of the “American” identity. The persecution of alien “others” becomes a ritual, giving disparate individuals a sense of political community. The Bush administration used fear as a tool to control the domestic population and create a paranoid society.