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  Publicity Stills of "28 Weeks Later"
(Courtesy from 20th Century Fox)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Cast: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack
RunTime: -
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: M18

Opening Day: 10 May 2007

Synopsis :

The Sequel to 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later picks up six months after the Rage virus has decimated the city of London. The US Army has restored order and is repopulating the quarantined city, when a carrier of the Rage virus enters London and unknowingly re-ignites the spread of the deadly infection.

Movie Review:

Forget about American zombies, leave it to the British to come up with zombies that will scare the pants out of you. Before fans of 28 DAYS LATER start throwing rocks at me, let me clarify that the "zombies" are actually human beings infected by a virus that will cause them go into a violent murderous rampage. They are fast, vicious, infectious and hyper, killing everything in sight. So calling them "Virus-carrier-like half human" doesn't really have a ring as well as being called a Zombie. Anyway, given that this time of year normally gives way to three-quels, kid friendly fayre or brainless blockbusters it's nice to have a proper certificate horror film we can all go and see - without the worry of horror-lite Hollywood horror, or 'lets try to gross out as much as possible' Hostel-like films. And what more, sequels aren’t supposed to be as good as 28 WEEKS LATER, which does what more follow-ups should, and so few do, using concepts introduced in its predecessor as the spine for a fresh dramatic story managing numerous points to be every bit as scary and intense as the original, while maintaining an even bleaker and more uncompromising outlook.

In a nutshell, 28 WEEKS LATER, the follow up to 28 DAYS LATER, picks up six months after the rage virus has annihilated the Mainland Britain. The U.S. Army declares that the war against infection has been won, and that the reconstruction of the country can begin. As the first wave of refugees return, a family is reunited, but one of them unwittingly carries a terrible secret. The virus is not yet dead, and this time, it is more dangerous than ever. Taking over directing duties from Danny Boyle is Juan Carlos Fresnadillo - and at just a shade over an hour and a half long - he has given us a great piece of well paced, atmospheric cinema, with more than enough moments in there to please fans of the original, as well as plenty in there for anyone new to movies' concept.

The haunting vision of a ruined London is one of the most memorable aspects of 28 WEEKS LATER, which allows us to see a lot more of the desolation than Boyle's film did. Majestic helicopter shots of a creepily still capital and a nightmarish trip into the tube network all combine to give the very real impression of a city stripped of its lifeforce. The emptiness and bleakness of the city is what Fresnadillo does best here, underpinning the manic infected-based mayhem.

There are some remarkable set-pieces in 28 WEEKS LATER, the scale of which leaves its predecessor in its shade: the firebombing of the city; the chemical weapons attack that leaves deadly fog-like clouds rolling eerily around the silent streets; the startling sequence that shows the rebirth of the virus as the Rage spreads uncontrollably through a crowd of refugees trapped in a large pitch black basement, infecting almost everyone present in a matter of seconds; the film's most indelible sequence, as three desperate survivors venture into the pitch black of a long abandoned underground train station with only a single night vision scope revealing the appalling extent of the horrors they've descending into (giving homage to another successful British horror, The Decent).

The cast is excellent throughout - Robert Carlyle of course steals the show from all comers as the weasely Don, willing to leave his wife to perish at the hands of the infected if it means saving his own skin and getting his just deserts when she turns up again; Catherine McCormack makes the most of the small role as the abandoned wife, almost recognisable in later scenes; the non UK contingent including Rose Byrne, also in Boyle's Sunshine, Jeremy Remmer and Perrineau, all get less meaty roles but do well with what they're given; and the two kids, the improbably named Mackintosh Muggleton and Imogen Poots are real revelations and really very effective in what essentially amounts to the two leading roles.

The explosions of violence showcase of extremely convincing makeup illusions, cinematography and production designers that crafted a remarkable vision of a blighted London, a scarily expressive score, along with editor Chris Gill, returnees from 28 DAYS LATER, resulted in one of the rare filmic returns to the well that is just as satisfying as the first trip, and stands as a worthy companion piece to its popular predecessor.

Movie Rating:

(An apocalyptic edge-of-your-seat horror that delivers more than expected.)

Review by Lokman BS


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