Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison – Book Review

Title: Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny

Author: Holly Madison

Rating: 3/5

Genres: Celebrity, Autobiography, Memoir, Television and Film


“While there was a part of me that acknowledged the idiocy and superficiality that surrounded me, I fell for the glamour: hook, line, and sinker. It took years for me to realize just how manipulated and used I had been. I could never admit that to myself at the time, because to do so would have been to acknowledge how dark and scary a situation I was in . . . and how very little in control I was.”

Like everyone, I have my guilty pleasures. And one of them is watching American reality TV. And whether it be Bad Girls Club or Big Rich Texas, I use reality TV as a backdrop of my day-to-day activities. If I’m putting on makeup, or getting ready to go out, or even tidying my room, I’ll pop on a couple of episodes as something to entertain me as I do the mundane jobs. And whilst I was coming down after the sheer panic that was dissertation hand-in, I discovered a incredibly entertaining and silly television programme from the early Noughties.

The Girls Next Door was a long-running E! series focusing on the girls of the Playboy Mansion, particularly on the exploits of Hugh Hefner’s three girlfriends, Kendra, Holly and Bridget. The programme was highly comical, seemingly fake and featured a lot of blonde bombshells, which ar-ak196_bunny_jv_20150702141939made for entertaining viewing and addictive viewing, and the three girlfriends each had their own personalities and quirks. From this I quickly became immersed in their day-to-day activities as they did photoshoots, appearances and promoted Playboy. And like with all reality programmes, I found myself liking one of the girls more than the others.
Holly Madison was considered Hefner’s Number One Girlfriend at the time, and I found her kindness, down-to-earth beauty and overall ‘normal-ness’ a soothing balm to the sometimes bizarre world of the mansion. So, when I heard that she was going to release a book which was going to be a tell-all version of what it was like to be a girlfriend, I immediately pre-ordered it.

Down the Rabbit Hole is firstly a memoir of Madison’s life, as she starts off as a small time girl from Alaska and ends up being a successful businesswoman, model, celebrity, mother and wife, and it’s secondly a never-before-told story of her experiences with living in the mansion, the relationships with the magazine mogul’s various girlfriends, the reality show, and dealing with Mr. Playboy himself, the octogenarian Hugh Hefner. Written in a candid and fairly honest manner, Madison reveals that the supposed ‘fairy-story’ that the reality show portrayed was far more twisted and dark, and that depression, boredom, drug-taking, bitchiness and isolation were the rife within the mansion. Her stories about living with being one of Hefner’s girlfriends, abiding by a strict curfew, doing pictorials, and just being in the public eye were interesting, as it shows another world that only a few have experienced, and I found this an interesting and refreshingly frothy read. madison23n-2-web

Now, despite liking Holly in the television programme, I did get a sense that she acted as though she was the victim within this book. There was an outstanding amount of ‘woe-is-me’. And yes, Madison admits that she did scheme, lie and manipulate some of the girls to get them out of the mansion and out of Hefner’s mind, but repeatedly, she gives us tales of her being bullied by stronger characters, and acts like she came out of it highly traumatised. It was only in the last 1/3 of the book that Holly became stronger and more settled in herself, and didn’t act too much like the victim. There are really important messages in this book, such as abusive relationships, depression and suicidal thoughts and just being happy without a spouse or significant other, but these are unfortunately overshadowed by her ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude. But whether there is truth to the story or not is up to the reader.

But all in all, I enjoyed this book. In some places it can be fairly hard-hitting and just scandalous to read, but so is the world of the celebrity and Playboy. This book isn’t the best written, but nor does it act like it’s going to be. It’s simply the journey of a naive, celebrity Alice as she fell down the Bunny Hole, and how she emerged from the other side.

Links:

To buy the book – Waterstones/Amazon

Author’s twitter – Click Here

 

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My Life in Books Tag

I love doing these tags, and once again, thank you to driftinglexi for the nomination! Let’s get right into it!

1. Find a book for each of your initials.

A. R. D

9780751557510All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Rubies in the Snow by Kate Hubbard

Dracula by Bram Stoker

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2. Count your age along your book shelf, which book is it?

J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

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3. Pick a book set in your
city/state/country.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (Cornwall)

4. Pick a book that represents a destination you would shadowlove to travel to.

Shadow in the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Barcelona)

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5. Pick a book that’s your favourite colour.

Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E Thomas (Blue)

poa-uk-kids-jacket-art

6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

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7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Red Shift by Alan Garner

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8. Which book in your TBR pile will you give the biggest sense of accomplishment when you finish it?

The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias by W. Bruce Lincoln

So I tag:

Written Word Worlds

BookOwly 

Book Adventures

So, thank you! x

 

Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere 30 – First Impressions and Review

So, after a good 10 years of pining, making scrapbook pages and just lusting hopelessly, I finally got to get my dream handbag of a Louis  Vuitton Speedy 30 as a graduation gift. And now, after a month and a bit of using it virtually everyday, I think I can finally write a review on it as being an investment piece, and as an everyday handbag.
So, which handbag did I pick?

The Speedy collection ranges in different sizes – from the teensy Nano through to the 25-40 versions, and with a variety of prints and colours at your disposal:

  • The Monogram – traditional LV printed monogram.
  • The Damier Ebene – brown checkered print.
  • The Damier Azure – cream and blue/grey checkered print.

There are plenty of options for your personal taste. With the addition of the crossbody strap, the Speedy evolves into the Bandouliére design, which in turn also has the Monogram, Damier and the Empreinte design (a embossed leather finish in a variety of colours).

So, as you can see, there is a lot of different colours, styles and choices to make. I chose the Monogram print, as I’ve always loved the LV print over the checkered brown, and I like the idea of the pale patina leather (more of that down below).

Now, I’m a girl who carries the world and its kitchen sink in my bag. As a reader, I always have to have a book with me, and usually there’s chargers, cardigans and just an assortment of crap that gets shoved in the bottom of my bag in case I need it. So I prefer handbags that have a crossbody strap, as it bears some weight off my wrists and has that added security bonus. So for me, the Bandouliére was the perfect design.

But what I get most asked is’how much was it?’, and the answer is very simple. It cost £790. And don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how lucky I am to own this bag, and to be given it as a gift was incredibly generous of my family. But for a designer bag that has been tried-and-tested to be long-lasting, and virtually indestructible as a everyday bag, I think it is worth every penny. Another interesting fact I was told is that the pale calfskin colour of the strap, handles and side would darken in time due to the use and exposure to the elements, which I personally cannot wait for. I love that the bag changes as the years go past, as it shows that I’ve been using it.

So, how does this bag fare? Well, whilst I was at the shop, I was allowed to test out both the 30 and 35 size, as I wasn’t sure how big and deep the bags were. And for me, as a big-bag lover, the 30 was the perfect size. It has plenty of room inside for everything I need, and I’m sure that if I needed to, I could turn this into an overnight bag.

If you detach the shoulder strap, the 30 still retains that capable and comfortable handbag feel, whilst to me, the 35 would have looked a little oversized. However, you need to be mindful of the openings of both bags. The zip opening of the 30 is fine for me, but I do find myself sometimes slotting things in at an angle to actually get them into the bag. The 35 may also have the added room so you can completely overfill your bag with every possible necessity, and it not appearing fit to burst. But, it’s entirely up to you and your personal preference.

The bag is brown canvas inside, so there is no worry of scratching any soft leather if you shove your life into this bag, and it has one inside pocket. The inside pocket isn’t the most open or widest pocket ever, so usually I just stick something flat inside there,such as train tickets or keys. The bag also comes with the added security of a lock and key.

I also chose the Bandouliére over the traditional Speedy due to the added shoulder strap, and security that it brings. The Speedy’s handles are notoriously small, so really it can only be held in the hands or in the crock of the elbow. And sometimes, when you have a lot of stuff in your bag, or you just want to have it out of the way, that can feel a bit overwhelming or heavy. Also, despite the Classic Speedy having flaps for a possible strap, these are just punctuared holes in a piece of leather, so if you overburdened your bag, and had a strap holding it up, it may rip and completely disfigure the shape of your bag.

With the Bandouliére’s reinforced side panels, hooks and having actual measures put in to make sure a strap is a viable option, I chose that one. The strap is also an interesting piece of workmanship, as it’s
not just one long piece of leather with an adjustable slide, but actually two straps that buckle together. So this can be switched up to be either a crossbody bag, for those times when you just want to sling it across and forget about it, or a fashionable shoulder bag. The straps also have three different lengths, so you honestly can mix it up so many ways. However, you must be warned. The Bandouliére is +£200 more expensive than the Classic Speedy in the same size. So there are positives and negatives to that.

So how is this bag boxed, and how was the customer service? Customer service was exemplary. As I went into the New Bond Street’s Louis Vuitton, I was greeted by a host of store members who cooed over the fact that this was my first LV. My server was a lovely Asian lady called Grace, who brought out every bag I asked for, gave me all the information I could ask, and brought over some complimentary drinks which really added to the vibe. She explained everything to me, and let me have a look around the shop as she got my bag ready.

Now, how was the boxing? I must say, the packaging for these bags is well done. I got dustbags, boxes, ribbons and all the bells and whistles. Even the receipt was on plush paper and inside a little envelope. But the actual boxing? For ease of transporting, size and whatnot, your bag is folded up and flat-packed into the box. And some people may like that. But for me, it was a bit of an ‘oh…’ moment. Because you are paying quite a lot of money (in my mind anyway), and to see your bag being folded up is just a bit odd. I guess if you were buying a more expensive bag, it wouldn’t get manipulated that way, but who knows. So afterwards, the bag did need a few days being padded out and warped back into shape. The Monogram Canvas bag isn’t actually full leather (a fact I didn’t know) so it can be moved into those positions and squished without too much damage. But I guess that is why it lasts. I can be tossed around, and it will last.

But all in all, I love my bag. I know some people find the Monogram print a bit tacky, and copied. And I was torn between the Speedy and the Neverfull (which is going to be my next splurge), but this is me getting my lifelong dream bag. I use it all the time, it’s a perfect transitionary piece between all the seasons, night and day, and it just screams class in my opinion. I am so happy with it!

But if you have any questions on this bag, please let me know below. I hope this is enough of a review.

But let me know if you’ve got a Louis Vuitton, and whether you think it’s worth it!

The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder – Book Review

Title: The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack

Author: Mark Hodder

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult Fiction, Alternative History, Sci-Fi, Mystery


“Every time we are faced with a choice, and we are faced with them every minute of every day, we make a decision to follow its course into the future. But what of the abandoned options? Are they like unopened doors? Do alternative futures lie beyond them? How far would we wander from the course we have steered were we to go back and, just once, open Door A instead of Door B?”

As I’ve stated before in various blog posts, I’ve been experimenting with reading more fantasy and sci-fi literature. Yet, one crossbreed that I haven’t really touched on is the ‘Steampunk’ genre. So, when I had a six-hour train journey to cope with, I borrowed Mark Hodder’s The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack from a friend, and inadvertantly found myself falling into an alternative historical novel that not only ticked the ‘steampunk’ genre, but also had elements of mystery, fantasy and questions of morality.

Set in an al7293120ternative Victorian (or rather, Albertian)  London, and with the use of actual historical characters and events, Hodder’s book brings together a narrative that involves all the power of the Victorian engineering, industrial and manufacturing prowess, along with a labyrinthine collection of murder, mystery, genetic engineering, folklore, sexual deviance, chimney-sweeps, abductions and an underlying current that can only be called ‘pure steampunk’. And who, I hear you ask, is our guide through this intricate world? Who will be the Virgil’s to our Dante’s? The famous explorer, scholar and swordsman, Sir Richard Burton.
After a serious public and personal humiliation, Burton is unsure of what his future holds. His former friend and contemporary, John Speke, has gone missing and presumed dead and his career has suffered a colossal blow. So when he is recruited by King Albert to be the ‘King’s Spy’, he throws himself into the investigation wholeheartedly. And his first mission? To investigate a series of sexual assaults, who have been committed by a  presumed folklore creation, known as Spring-Heeled Jack, and to discover why half-human, half-dog creatures are kidnapping chimney sweeps. But as he gets deeper and more involved in the crimes, Burton finds himself in the underbelly of the London’s most depraved circles, where science, morals and ethics run wild and without consequence.

Now, as a a debut novel, I was very surprised over the quality of the writing, the complexity of the plot, and the well-crafted characters. Debut novels can sometimes be hit-or-miss, and it can be due to the author’s writing style, delivery of story or way they’ve been crafted. But when I read this, I was impressed.

One thing that I really enjoyed with the novel was the universe it was in. I love alternative history, and was very excited to read a novel that was Albertian, rather than Victorian.  I cannot fault the world-building, as Hodder has really taken on the steampunk idea, ran with it and made it both incredible, yet highly believable. He provided a credible and quite scientific reason for all the steampunk-ness of the novel, and wrote the eugenics side of it in a highly fascinating and technical manner. Hodder explored quite deep topics, such as ‘humanity versus technology’, ‘freedom from slavery’, and ‘what distinguishes us from animals’ in a careful and well-written way, and he also excelled in having various different storylines which didn’t really muddle up or get too convoluted.

In the novel, the characters were also fairly well imagined. As well as the reimagined historical characters, we have different social groups who have their own quirks, and different ages and sexes have been portrayed. However, what did confuse me a bit is that this book is supposed to be focusing of Burton, and the poet Algernon Swinburne, but these are probably some of the least explored characters in the entire book. But, as this is a series, I can see room for more development and backstory. And
Swinburne is quite hilarious in the sections that he is in, so I am hoping for more of him. There was also a need for more female characters. Apart from the odd mention of a woman, the only interesting woman were Isabel Arundell and Sister Raghavendra, yet compared to the men, they barely feature in the novel.
The reason I wouldn’t give this a 5/5 rating is because the last section of the book does get slightly muddled up.It seems almost rushed, and feels slightly unfinished. Now, despite this being a series, I don’t believe the next book is a continuation. So to leave it feeling as unfinished as it does isn’t that great. Also, sometimes the amount of steampunk description did feel too heavy, and too complicated. The same goes for the storylines. However, all in all, I found this book highly enjoyable! A fairly fast-paced fantasy, steampunk adventure and one that I will be eager to continue with! But please, if you’ve read any other steampunk novels, let me know in the comments below.

Links!

To buy the book – Waterstones /Amazon

Link to the author’s website – Click Here

Link to the author’s twitter – Click Here

 

Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella – Book Review.

Title: Shopaholic to the Rescue

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Chick-Lit, Humour, Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy


OK,’ says Luke calmly. ‘Don’t panic’

Don’t panic? Luke is saying ‘Don’t panic’? No. Nooooo. This is all wrong. My husband never says ‘Don’t panic’. If he’s saying ‘Dont panic,’ then what he really means is: ‘There’s every good reason to panic.’ 

God, now I’m panicking.

For about for about six years now, I’ve been buying, reading and rereading Sophie Kinsella’s book saga ‘The Shopaholic Series’. As a teenage girl, these novels were the perfect read for those stressful times between school, exams and then college. And now, as a twenty-one year old, this series still holds a great deal of sway over my life, as I begin to emphasise with struggles in love, work and shopping. And in the last few weeks, Kinsella published the ninth book in the series ‘Shopaholic to the Rescue’, and the minute I opened the first page, and saw those opening emails, and immortal words which make up every beginning of these books ‘Ok. Don’t panic’, I fell back into the world of Becky Bloomwood nee Brandon, and her lovable and crazy life.

Overall, the series follows Becky as she deals with falling in love, marriages, families, children, friendship, housing issues , and all of this alongside a pretty serious, yet hilarious shopping addiction. And before I get into the review, I would thoroughly recommend that you read the entire series before this one – as it does follow a pretty straight forward plot throughout, and with the changes in Becky’s life, such as family dramas and the introduction of new characters, you would need to know how they wound up in this particular scenario. And in the ninth book, we find Becky taking on her biggest and most elaborate challenge yet.

After Kinsella, in Shopaholic to the Stars, left her in LA, with her relationship with her best friend, husband and career up in turmult, we pick up when Becky decides that a rescue mission is in order. And who is she rescuing?
Her father Graham, and her best friend’s husband Tarquin, who both vanish after Graham arrives from England to track down some old friend’s, and tags Tarquin along for the ride. However, despite assuring them all that they are all fine, Becky decides that the only possible solution is to hire a RV, drive the family from LA to Las Vegas and hunt down the missing men. But when she arrives in Las Vegas, Becky and her family get more than they bargained for, and are thrown for a loop when secrets from the past get dug up, and in typical Bloomwood fashion, not everything is as it appears.

So, for the ninth (and possible last) book in the series, Kinsella brings all the big guns out. Getting all the loved, and loathed characters together for one big American adventure was a sweet touch, as we got to see how they would all interact together, and some old faces even came back from the first books to play crucial parts. Kinsella’s writing of Becky hasn’t changed much in the years she’s been writing, which doesn’t limit the Shopaholic world in the slighest, but improve it. Becky, through all the ups and downs of the last few books, is still the young girl we all fell in love with. She still worries about spending, about her family, about Suze and about Alicia Bitch-Longlegs, and she still comes up with all the harebrained schemes that made her so lovable in the first place. The interactions between all the characters are familiar and comforting, and Becky once again triumphs in the end. However, what I did like was that nothing is entirely perfect in Becky’s life. She has some issues that seem entirely truthful, and frank to be able to touch some readers in a personal way, and she doesn’t skirt over them.

As story goes, it was a light-hearted romp full of very familiar (good familiar) scenarios, and nothing seemed too manic or impossible. The scheme that Becky pulls off is very typical ‘her’ style, but doesn’t seem that repetitive, or impossible. However, I should say that perhaps Kinsella should hang up the Shopaholic series for now. To be honest, after this book (which is a continuation of the story that she wrote in Shopaholic to the Stars) there doesn’t seem much to write about anymore. This books seems to be the perfect ending for Becky’s saga, and despite not wanting her to go and to continue to have more madcap ideas, if Kinsella continues on, it could just lose its sparkle and just be one of those series that you want to end.

The writing isn’t complex or challenging at all, but very personal and almost diary-esque. I’ve always thought Kinsella excelled at this particular type, and she uses it frequently in other stories. However, I must say that I’ve fallen out of love with Kinsella’s other books in the last few years, and it’s only been Becky that I’ve solidly stuck with. But that could just be my tastes changing.

So for a ending for the Shopaholic series, I’d say this is a fitting, well-done and proper conclusion. The story, the characters, and the essence of the plot is the same you fell in love with eight books previous, and the read is totally chick-lit, totally girly, and totally feel-good.

But please, let me know if you’ve enjoyed the series!

Links:

To buy the book – Amazon/Waterstones

To visit Kinsella’s website – Click Here 

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan and Phil – Book Review

Title: The Amazing Book is Not on Fire

Author: Dan Howell and Phil Lester

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography, YouTuber World, Online Presence, Social Media, Celebrity Culture, Arts and Entertainment, Popular Culture


‘This book is us taking our favourite parts from that swirling universe on the internet and trapping it in something physical. Something we can hold and touch and keep in our houses, so that long into the future we can all look back and remember who these Dan and Phil guys were and what they did.’

In the past couple of years, the culture of YouTube has properly exploded into the public consciousness, and made the successful and popular YouTubers into sort of mini-celebrities. And from this, these YouTubers have been able to release all different types of merchandise – such as clothing lines, makeup collections and even short films. But there is one thing that the majority of these vloggers have done, and that is to release books.
So, whether they be self-help, fictional, lifestyle or even graphic novels, these books constantly hit the top of the bestseller charts, and make the YouTubers grow in popularity. And that is no different when I bought and read ‘The Amazing Book is Not on Fire’ by Dan (danisnotonfire) Howell and Phil (AmazingPhil) Lester.
Now, with a joint audience of over 10 million subscribers, as well as a highly succesful Radio 1 show, flatmates and best friends Dan and Phil both have their own, independent channels, but frequently collaborate together. So it made sense that when the chance to release a book came around, they decided to chronicle their world together. And with over 220 coloured, and highly detailed pages, The Amazing Book is Not on Fire or TABINOF is a good companion to fans of either YouTuber.

The book follows Dan and Phil through their entire lives, starting from birth through to finishing in the last year or so. With interviews, behind-the-scene photos, rambling stories, diary extracts, stories from their YouTube endeavours, drawings of their old apartments, quizzes, anecdotes, pictures, doodles, fanfiction entries, and even a second dedicated to their Sims character, this book really is a smorgasbord of goodies that will make any fan of the two vloggers devour eagerly. This book also has really interesting sections about how to become a YouTuber, and delivers handy hints for any aspiring creators, as well as being visually well-thought out, and designed in a way that will appeal to all ages. As Dan and Phil have fans that range from young teens to older people, this book isn’t offensive, nor does it act like it is serious. It is simply, as the front page states it to be, ‘The World of Dan and Phil’. One of my favourite sections were the University experiences, as it is well-documented that Dan dropped out, but it was interesting to read about Phil’s experiences and how he went on to get a Masters. I also enjoyed the Japanese section of the book. and the apartment tours.

What I liked about this book is that it really can be read at different times, and you can start at different points. With no strict order, this book isn’t confusing or challenging, and I appreciate that as a older viewer of both Dan and Phil, I can see how younger fans may enjoy and take from it. It also isn’t repetitive, and there is a plenty of variety, and you can tell a lot of thought has gone into it. This really is a perfect companion to Dan and Phil’s video, as it has a equal balance between both vloggers and both channel contents, as well as having their joint work chronicled. With little side stories, such as ‘What Happened in Vegas’ and ‘The Time We Met One Direction’, this books fills in some of the blanks that have been left on Dan and Phil’s channels, and really makes you get into their world without seeming too boring, or too same-y.

I must say that this book is strictly for die-hard and pretty intense fans of Dan and Phil. I have watched both of them for years, and received the book as a gift, and to me, this book was something that I found interesting, but may have not bought it for myself. Despite liking both their channels, I didn’t really need to go into their world in such a way. So, be warned. You will have to know a lot about Dan and Phil to really appreciate this book in its entirety. I also think this book was directed towards a younger audience, as the whole feel of the book gave off that impression. It wasn’t hard-hitting, it wasn’t intense, and it wasn’t shocking. It was just sweet, fairly cool and very much ‘Dan-and-Phil’. But as a gift for a younger fan, I would think it would be the ideal present.

So, yes. I found The Amazing Book is Not on Fire to be exactly what it was promised to be. A good companion to the highly successful duo that is Dan and Phil, a guide to their world, and just a good, easy book to read or gift to somebody.

But please, let me know if you’ve read the book, and whether you like it!

Links:

To buy the book – Amazon/Waterstones

To subscribe to Dan – Click Here

To subscribe to Phil – Click Here

The Dan and Phil Shop – Click Here

28 Days Later (2002) – Film Review

Title: 28 Days Later (2002)

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, and Christopher Eccleston.

Director: Danny Boyle

Genres: Zombie, Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Zombie Horror, Drama, British Cinema

Rating: 5/5


There has always been competition between British and American cinema and TV. Whether it be action, thrillers, chick-flick, or horror, both nations have brought key actors to the forefront of the public eye, and have given us, as viewers, a smorgasbord of excellent films and stars to watch. And with the ‘zombie’ genre, this has been a particular category that both the American and British cinema have cracked. After George A. Romero’s 1968 movie, Night of the Living Dead, we have been swamped with excellent television shows such as The Walking Dead and movies such as World War Zbut it is Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later which has been credited as reinvigorating the zombie genre of films in the early 2000s, and showing that Britain can create zombies which are both terrifying, and fast.

The familiar scenario of the breakdown of society, following the outbreak of the contagious zombie virus and decimating the population of the world is a strong backdrop to this film. However, unlike other zombie films, these zombies are more human in a sense. They run incredibly fast, and have the ability to climb and accomplish more human-esque tasks, such as overcoming obstacles to get to their prey, which is something that zombies have never been able to do in the past. Also, unlike other zombie films, there is a reason for the infection. A man-made virus known as Rage is shown to be tested on
apes in the first five minutes, and then being accidentally released, therefore fleshing out the story. This ‘Rage’ does exactly what it says on the bottle, as it sends the infected into an extreme and perpetual state of extreme anger. This makes them become ever deadlier, and more determined.

We follow the protagonist, Jim, as he wakes from a coma in a deserted hospital in the midst of London and begins to search for survivors and answers. Along the way, he finds a motley crew of survivors and travels to what seems like a sanctuary, a survivor camp set up in a manor house and fortified by the army. However, all does not appear to be a sweet and proper as it first set out to be. With the struggle for power being the key for survival, Jim finds himself thrust into a civil war with those he thought he could trust.

As discussed, along the way Jim finds a band of survivors. And each of them is unique, lovable and different, and yes, some of them have tragic outcomes, but what I find makes this film so good is the quality of the acting, as well as the tension that just oozes out. Compared to traditional slow-moving zombies, Boyle’s are more ‘jump-scary’, as due to their speed, they can just appear, and it makes a chase scene incredibly tense. With a brilliant cast of actors – Irish star Cillian Murphy playing the lead, and Christopher Eccleston as the army major – this film does tug at the heartstrings in different ways. With Boyle’s direction, and Alex Garland’s screenplay (author of The Beach), this film certainly knows how to make an impact. Some of the most haunting scenes in the film show usual busy areas of London, such as Piccadilly Circus, completely deserted, and Murphy as being the only figure. And with the soundtrack, there is a eclectic mixture of tracks, such as Granddaddy’s A.M. 180, which adds to the surrealness of the film, and oddly fits in with the whole end-of-the-world feel.

All in all, this film definitely brought life to the zombie genre. To me, it did pave the way for new zombie enthusiasts, such as myself and it did put a high British standard into the zombie genre.

So what do you think? Please comment below if you have any opinions on the zombie genre, or any suggestions for new reviews!

This film is out on DVD to watch, but please remember that it is rated an 18/R.

So, if you enjoyed:

  • The Walking Dead
  • World War Z
  • Trainspotting (Another Danny Boyle film)

I think you’ll enjoy this!

Links:

Buy the DVD (Amazon)