Science fiction and fantasy                                            

28 Weeks Later

directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

28 Weeks Later poster  
In the aftermath of a zombie plague, you would be in a hurry to repatriate the survivors, including children, as close to ground zero as possible with all haste. Makes sense, no? In the world of zombie movie logic it does, and that, rather than any common sense, is what matters in 28 Weeks Later.

Robert Carlyle plays Don, a survivor who is traumatised because he had to abandon his wife Alice during the outbreak, in order to save himself. Racked with guilt, what he had to do to survive still plays on his mind. 28 weeks after the initial outbreak the infected have starved to death, and the panic is over. The streets of Britain are largely empty, and the country is considered to be safe enough for tentative reconstruction to begin.

Families are returning, initially to stay on an isolated settlement on the Isle of Dogs. These first returnees include Don and his two children, Tammy and Andy. The children are as rebellious as any children. They are told to stay within the camp and not venture alone into the rest of London, but they are curious about the state of their old home and they want to find out if anything is left from their former lives.

Inevitably, the Rage Virus is not as dead as was first thought, and all it takes is the slightest error of judgement for pandemonium to ensue. From here on the movie becomes frenzied and atmospheric, with gallons of fake blood spraying everywhere. Unfortunately, in going for the angle of a terrifying and violent zombie rampage, the film loses much of its soul. It doesn't parody itself or the zombie genre at all, so there's no humour to lighten the mood. Fear and panic are the order of the day, and as such it's neither touching nor memorable.

Scarlet (Rose Byrne) is a doctor in the US Army who seems like a beacon of sanity amongst all the madness, determined to save the children at all costs. As a character she seems promising, but she's just one of several whose potential is never fully realised. The body-count is too high for the tragedy in this film to register, because we don't get to know enough about many of the characters to care about them before they are snatched away.

The main problem with 28 Weeks Later is its lack of depth and character development. It's a disappointing sequel, and what is even more disturbing is that movies of this kind always leave the possibility of sequels open, because the disease could always survive somewhere. But this is one series that should have died a death after the first film.

Film Details

Year: 2007

Categories: Films


Classification: 18

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2 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson