John Murphy
28 Days Later Soundtrack



by The Katz brothers USER (183 Reviews)
May 16th, 2007 | 13 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Godspeed-esque soundtrack to popular Zombie film works both as a soundtrack and a seperate album.

As far as Horror films go, 28 Days Later reigns supreme (or damn close to it). Not just another Zombie flick, the movie’s director Danny Boyle has even gone as far as to describe Day’s genre as “drama mixed with elements of Horror/Science Fiction, 28 Days Later combines excellent cinematography, far more emotion than films like The Grudge could ever muster and sheer terror to make what is possibly one of the best films of 2000’s. A movie this powerful deserves a powerful soundtrack, and with Godspeed You! Black Emperor on board, you know you’ll get just that (well, not exactly considering Godspeed decline having their song, the most excellent East Hastings , included in the actual album).

Much of the soundtrack is composed by John Murphy; this however does not mean the album is very orchestral. Instead of the usual string sections and drum corps, Murphy uses Godspeed You! Like ambience and borderline evil sounding guitars to great effect. On Jim’s Parents (Abide With Me) , Murphy ditches instruments all together; instead choosing a heavily reverbed female voice. Vocals, especially lyrics, are sparse throughout the soundtrack: as far as Murphy’s songs go, Jim’s Parents , is the only track to have comprehensible lyrics; however, Frank’s Death and quite a few more tracks, make use of lyricless, operatic vocals, here and there.

Then There Were 2 one of the soundtrack’s shorter numbers, first showcases a common feel for the rest of the album: it is comprised solely of a dark, clean guitar riff. Yet, for a film that uses blood, gore and zombies to a great extent, the 28 Days Later Soundtrack has its share of “feel good tunes”. Grandaddy’s AM180 , one of the few non-Murphy tracks, taken from Under The Western Freeway , sounds like Pavement, if Pavement were more into synthesizers. The song’s cheery keyboards provide a nice contrast to Murphy’s numbers, and fit nicely with the scene they accompany (the grocery store scene). Similar in feel and use of synths, Taxi (Ave Maria) , while slightly boring out of context, fits well in the film as well.

Unfortunately, most of the soundtrack doesn’t really touch on East Hastings’ brilliance. However, the obvious standout, In the House, In a Heartbeat , comes close. In the House takes place during one of the films most disturbing sequences (think eye sockets + thumbs), and is rehashed an astonishing three times in the film’s sequel, 28 Weeks Later . The song, in essence one long Post Rock-esque build-up, flirts with piano-flavored clean sections, sinister ultra-distorted guitar and the album’s catchiest non-vocal melody. By the time the crescendo breaks, leaving nothing but clean guitar arpeggios, there is no doubt as to why the song was reused so much in the second film. As a whole, the soundtrack ends on a high note with Blue State’s cool Season Song and a pair of less evil sounding Murphy compositions rounding out the bunch.

Many soundtracks fail in the same area: they work well in movies, but are either boring or irritating outside the film. 28 Day Later’s soundtrack doesn’t suffer all too badly here. The compositions are interesting (and they don’t all sound the same), and are familiar enough so that one can recognize exactly where many songs came in the movie. Plus, Brian Eno, Grandaddy and Blue State split up Murphy’s songs well. Overall, not recommended if you haven’t seen the film (though seeing the film is strongly recommended), but worth a listen for those who a) have seen it and b) enjoyed what they heard through out the movie.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 16th 2007


Movie is fantastic. In-movie soundtrack and review are good, but I haven't heard this elsewhere. I'll probably check it out somewhere down the road.

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May 16th 2007


Oshi, I just got the movie from Netflix.

May 16th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

The soundtrack to the first movie was awesome, this will be worth checking out.

The Jungler
May 16th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=iluvatar]it didn't make the movie any scarier for me[/quote]I thought there were parts that did, but I guess your right.[quote=samthebassman]the soundtrack to the first movie was awesome[/quote]..That's what this is.

Two-Headed Boy
May 16th 2007


I've heard good things bout this soundtrack, so might give her a listen.

Good review as always.

May 17th 2007


I love the way "In The House" continuously builds up as the final scene gets more and more intense.

May 17th 2007


Film was good, the soundtrack was good too but I wouldn't get it separately

May 18th 2007


One of my favorite movies ever. Great album. It's very effective in and outside of the movie.

Great review too.

December 24th 2008


I've only heard In the House which was excellent. :thumb:This Message Edited On 12.24.08

August 27th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

Excelent movie, good soundtrack.

February 28th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Love the film, In The House, In A Heartbeat used to find its way into my nightmares

October 31st 2013


In The House, In A Heartbeat is such a damn good song, need to check out the album.

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June 15th 2015


Album Rating: 4.5

Film and its sequel are amazing. THEY'RE NOT ZOMBIES THEY'RE THE INFECTED

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