Saturday, 13 April 2013

HFA REview No. 7 - 28 Weeks Later

A review I did for the site Horror Fans Asylum Reviews.

Welcome all, to another weekly film review written from my cold dwellings in the Asylum! My name is Michael and I can also be found at my Left Field Films blog and at my Facebook page.

Last week I talked about “28 Days Later”, which was a more than competent take on the outbreak/zombie genre. Now it’s the turn of the sequel, “28 Weeks Later”, to get my unwanted attention.

“28 Weeks Later” (2007) was directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and shows the aftermath of the viral outbreak from the original.

The film begins rather well. Don (Robert Carlyle) and Alice (Catherine McCormack) are laying low with a few other survivors in a countryside cottage in the hope that the outbreak will pass them by. Everything seems to be working fine until a child survivor outside the cottage starts banging on the door, screaming for help. Unsure of what to do, they finally let the boy in. Unsurprisingly, the outside of the cottage becomes surrounded by the infected and they quickly manage to overrun the house. While Don and Alice try to escape, one of the infected manages to separate them and leaves Don with a choice….. try and save his wife and risk being infected in the process or just escape and leave his wife as bait. Astonishingly he does the latter and leaves his wife to the wolves, whilst he escapes the cottage and gets away on a motorboat!

Fast forward 28 weeks later, and London has become a militarised zone. Most of the infected have died of starvation, and the US military has managed to make a small part of the city into a “safe zone”, where they are in the early stages of repopulation and are bringing back refugees to live.
Don’s two children Tammy (Imogen Poots), and her younger brother Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton), have been brought back to London and reunite with their dad. It seems that Don is now the “caretaker” of the facility (which seems to give him access to even high security rooms. Confusing.)
Doyle (Jeremy Renner) is one of the army personnel who keeps watch on the rooftops with his sniper rifle. He see’s Tammy and Andy through his scope, escaping from the safe zone and heading into the main city. They have came up with the fantastic idea of going back to their old house for some insane reason.

While at the house, they find their mother (gasp) who is infected, but is able to just barely keep her rage at bay. She is taken to a maximum security medical wing where they conduct a few tests and find that she has a rare genetic trait (she also has different coloured pupils, a trait she shares with her son Andy) that helps her withstand the virus. The army doctor Scarlet (Rose Byrne), thinks the cure to the virus is in the mother and her son’s blood.

Before she has time to take action though, Don has gotten wind that his wife is still alive and decides to go see her. She is obviously still pissed at his betrayal at the beginning of the film, so she bites him. He becomes infected with rage and kills her then goes on to quickly spread the infection throughout the complex.

The virus is so out of control the military decide to kill all the civilians to avoid another outbreak. Scarlet knows Andy is the key to stopping everything but no one seems to listen to her, apart from the sniper Doyle, who decides to protect Andy and Scarlet until he can get them safely evacuated out of Britain and to a proper medical site. It won’t prove an easy task as they have both the infected and the military on their backs!

I really enjoyed the original film “28 Days Later”, but I’m not too sure about this film. It has two great actors in it. Robert Carlyle (who was great at the beginning of the film but then ends up being wasted), and Jeremy Renner (who was pretty much unknown then but has went on to become a big star).

The beginning of the film is fantastic and really has the same feeling as the original. It’s quite a brief opening, but you do get the feeling that these survivors have bonded and you quickly like them. The rest of the film is typical over the top crap. Switch your brain off and eat popcorn kind of nonsense, which is a shame because it had the potential to be really good.

The first film was great because it was taken to a very human level. The outbreak became more of a background story and it became a tale about a group of survivors with more to worry about than just the infected. “28 Weeks Later” is more like some Yank in a fancy office saying “Forget all that relationship and story crap! People just want to see zombies and blood!”.

And that is pretty much what you get, a lot of different situations in which zombies get killed in more imaginative ways. In another kind of film, well OK fair enough. But as a sequel to “28 Days Later”, a more serious and thought provoking film, it’s just lunacy. I think the makers of this film should be sent to the Asylum!

Also the film feels like it was made for a sequel. Money was obviously on everyone’s mind while making this film. They knew they would make a lot of money off the back of the original and they were hoping to make another film after this one! Thankfully that hasn’t happened yet.

I give this 2 needles out of 5! (The extra needle is for the opening of the film)

Thanks everyone for reading, please feel free to leave a comment below either good or bad, it’s nice to get some feedback so I can improve the reviews! I hope to see you next week if the Head Doctor let’s me out of solitary confinement long enough!

Also Happy Halloween everyone! :)


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