28 Weeks Later
Eradication. Sterilization. Re-Population. Re-Infection.
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton
28 weeks after the rage virus infected the British Isles, reconstruction has begun. The US army has declared London to be safe and is slowly introducing refugees back to areas of the city. For many of the survivors the horrors of the previous six months are almost forgotten in the newly developing Britain, yet for Don and his family the nightmare is fresh in their minds with the return of his supposedly dead wife.
Although 28 Weeks Later is without the specific attention of 28 Days Later’s Garland and Danny Boyle, the new team, including director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, successfully recreates the mood and style of the first film. The opening scene stays reassuringly faithful to the original, with features, such as the iconic music and the sweeping shots of Britain’s landscape. Yet, 28 Weeks Later also builds upon the personal element that was so fundamental to the first film. Much in the manner of Aliens, 28 Weeks Later pumps up the action with the introduction of the American military and weaponry. As the infection outbreak becomes more serious, so does the reaction towards it, creating a truly gripping zombie film.
This in particular is the element which helps put 28 Weeks Later into the same league as Aliens as a sequel. Fresnadillo extends the story in intelligent, suspenseful ways. By bringing in the ‘Yanks’ with big guns, he develops the tension felt in 28 Days Later between the civilians, the military and the infected. By increasing the scale of the armed forces, even more peril for ordinary folks is caught between plague and the authorities.
A larger scale film, however, does not require higher profile cast members for Fresnadillo. Other than Robert Carlyle, who was originally considered for Christopher Eccleston, the cast list features relatively unknown actors (although see if you can spot Michael from Lost!). The most impressive casting is the two fantastic young leads, who have the almighty task of carrying the film, yet do so with considerable ease and confidence.
28 Weeks Later is much more action orientated, and elevates the mythology of the first film to a whole new level. Thankfully it does not try to be a replicate of its predecessor, but develops the style and mood to create a film worthy of the original.
Screenings of this film:
|2007/2008 Autumn Term – (35mm)|