28 Weeks Later

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In Soviet America, you sue MPAA!
As per Yoda's request, reprinted here from the original on my site:

Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007
Written by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and Rowan Joffe & Jesús Olmo, Enrique López Lavigne

The torch has been passed. Not just from original 28 Days director Danny Boyle to 28 Weeks director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, but from the apocalyptic consumer cannibalism of Romero’s Dead -ilogy to today’s Rage infected culture of destruction. Yes, I’m saying what I never thought I would: the horror genre finally has a capable successor franchise to those seminal films.

There is a feeling you get while watching 28 Weeks Later. You can feel it growling in your core. Things are changing. This movie is upping the ante. It is upping the ante to a level of game others simply aren’t even playing at yet.

I’m still so shocked by the transition I saw yesterday that I’m not even sure I’m ready to talk about it yet. What compounds this is the fact that four days ago I assumed this sequel was going to be an in-name-only cash-in on a film that is easily one of the most influential genre films of the decade. I am glad to admit that now I don’t even need to consider starting the review with, "More like 28 Weaks Later!"

When the **** hits the fan in this movie, it doesn’t just hit one fan, it hits all fans. 28 Weeks Later is a veritable assembly line of **** hitting fans. It happens again and again, practically shoving the viewer to the brink of exhaustion. And when you’re doubled over with a stitch in your side, it’ll punch you in the face. Just because it can.

I love it.

The sweeping heartbreak of the siege on Robert Carlyle’s safe house cottage and his subsequent survival marks the arrival of one of the most engaging film openers the genre can lay claim to. Emotions are established instantly, the viewer’s anticipation of a hellish onslaught taught. Then it happens. The feet hit the earth running, the horror shattering the day with all the force and subtlety of a sledgehammer.

And that is within the first, oh, 8 minutes.

For prosperity of viewer discovery, I hate to put the spotlight on plot specifics or event highlights. The story revolves around a family reunited after the 6 month quarantine of England inside a US secured safe zone. Elements of the script are expected - of course there is going to be an outbreak, of course one or more of the loved ones are going to be involved - but compensation is found in the film’s sheer scope. Relentless doesn’t even begin to describe it. I will say this, though: rooftop snipers and a helicopter. ****!

A sole complaint to be registered is with some camera work during moments of intense chaos. At times the shots are too tight, too obtrusive. The intended ferocity and vérité of what is being filmed is certainly there, but the effect can border on headache inducing.

The film has a brilliant score by John Murphy accompanied with an absolutely crushing sound department. The audible aspects of 28 Weeks Later alone deserve an essay I’m not man enough to write. But when a movie makes you want to rock out while watching it, which a shameless man sitting next to us unexpectedly did, you know it is kicking your ass.

Chaos of the handheld cameras aside, the cinematography of 28 Weeks is engrossing. I was curious as to how they’d recreate the same sense of abandonment as its Days predecessor without the ability to shut down entire sections of busy business districts in England, but they did it. Not only that, but Fresnadillo’s clever use of the sniper scope as both a means of voyeurism and survival is consistently eerie. Those crosshairs are just plain creepy and elicit great raising of the hairs on a neck, especially during a late portion of pitch black wandering that is the most effective use of night vision since Silence of the Lambs.

Acting is admirable, in both juvenille and adult departments. Robert Carlyle is, of course, the precedent for emotion. His multiple break downs are truly heartfelt. Jeremy Renner as one of three connected US military officials who find themselves involved with the family is appropriately pissed off. As is everyone else in the movie (here is looking at you Harold Perrineau), which is largely why I love it so much. No one wants to help anyone in this thing. People do help each other out, but they do it with such real reluctance.

Fresnadillo captures this seething inhumanity perfectly. He uses the ruthless gore carefully. This may seem paradoxical considering the movie has more dead bodies than I have numbers for, but this isn’t even close to the torture porn of late. The details, believe it or not, are classy and often exist only in the periphery, despite the hidden knowledge that it probably took someone hours to craft that throat wound that’ll only be on the edge of the screen for 3 seconds. 28 Weeks Later is a more violent film than all the Saws on the work bench, yet it never strikes that cheap, exploitative chord the so-called ‘Splat Pack’ do.

28 Weeks Later is bleak as hell and twice as brutal with characters to care for and an almost epic understanding of mankind’s best intentions ravaged by his worst qualities. A unique minority more apocalyptic in nature than most films pre or post apocalypse. This beast is right on the crest of the end of the world, watching that wave crash is a rare treat. Fresnadillo orchestrates the accompanying tsunami with operatic beauty. Not content with his waters simply destroying every sand castle on the beach, he wants to be there to see the families cry when they come back.

Then he wants to punch each one of them in the face. Just because he can.

I love it.
Horror's Not Dead
Latest Movie Review(s): Too lazy to keep this up to date. New reviews every week.

I beg to differ...

28 Weeks Later

Every fisherman's nightmare... ZOMBIES out fishing for fishermen!

It stuns me that 28 Weeks Later is getting a lot of rave reviews. There have been a few that share my viewpoints, but damn, Yahoo's list of all the major critics - a lot of A's and B grades were given to this film. Now Movie Forums' own OG has given it a gold medal. Why did I find it so horrible? I must speak out.

First of all, I started thinking this was a truly remarkable picture, better than the original. But then, like a dead body, it started to stink. In the beginning of the movie, a group of people are hiding in an old shack of a house, eating dinner. KNOCK, KNOCK. Who's there? Is it a zombie? You go and see. No matter who it is, they do get attacked by the flesh hungry devils, and that leads us to...

The brother and the sister. They have flown back to Britain to stay in a safe, well guarded (?) place, right next to where all the zombies in the first film hung out and eventually died (?) at. Basically, the neighborhoods that have been sealed off so that non-zombie people can live in a normal life in a high rise building, just like in George Romero's Land of the Dead. Brother and sister are about 12 and 15 years old and they're staying in a nice little apartment with their dad, who survived the attacks in the thrilling opening sequence.

The brave (very brave) older sister decides that she can't take being cooped up in the apartment anymore, so she drags her brother into the zombie neighborhood to go visit their old house. They somehow manage to sneak past some armed guards. Anyways, they visit a pizza place that's really gone to hell. Outside are some cherry red motorcycles that they could ride on. Sister goes inside the pizza place, finds a badly decomposed corpse in the kitchen, takes the bike's keys from it, and off they go, zooming through zombie land, off to see their former home. I couldn't believe it. I would have turned back around after seeing the skeleton in the pizza parlor. I'd be like, ummm... NO! Grabbed brother and ran back to safety. Instead she decides to become a biker chick in a creepy British ghost town.

Luckily for us, her adventure home is the discovery of a great treasure. Unluckily for us, the movie soon buries that great treasure into the sand again, and what we have from then on is a typical, standard zombie film in which people run for their lives, get killed... and then you think it's OK again... until the very last scene (hint: It's not over!!).

There will more than likely be a 28 Months Later down the road, but I'll have to catch it on Netflix instead of paying $8.00, and that's only if I hear good reviews and want to find out more about the unique development that happens in 28 Weeks Later but is dropped in favor of more running, screaming and dying. I was hoping that this movie would really kick the zombie's asses in the end, or at least bring us closer to the deadly virus' defeat. There is certainly hope... but I was bored waiting for the filmmakers to finally just tell us, "Catch the next film". Which they certainly did.

I give it a D+.

28 Weeks Later

First of all, i am rather bias to films that show Britain as it is, not ****** American bad teeth or cockney/posh stereotypes and show off our capital. On a side note though, Wembley Stadium- product placement much. Anyway, Weeks is a good zombie film, though not spectacular or as good as Days. While it pulls off what it's doing well, there's no sucker punch in it or real **** me is this happening, it all seems mildy irrelevant, especially when we pretty well know the worst outcome. A good zombie ('infected', whatever) film has that impending sense of apocalypse, the no matter what we can't escape, something Days nailed (until the end), it left the impression if you meet the infected it's a truly life threatening pant pooing moments. Here, there's none of that, the people we're following hardly encounter the infected and what we see of the infected is so restricted they have no relation to the outcome or characters path. But that was always going to be a plot problem when the population is so limited; however the spread of the infection was quite impressive, though the military's idea of protection WAS absurd.

It's hard for me say more than i liked it. It didn't fall into cliche which is respectful, the army were mostly a contrast to Day of the Dead, and i loved the fact the General didn't show compassion, he knew what needed to be done and did without qualms. The digital and hand held shooting was part of what made Days so effective and it works here just as well, just as Godspeed You! Black Emperor's song East Hastings works brilliantly, especially in the awesome opening. In all i think it suffered from not having any drive, the characters motivations seemed too scripted and there wasn't the tension to make it compelling viewing especially where the child leads weren't all that, i'd have preferred the mother to replace the sons role. We all know the helicopter is there and they have a way out, there's no ambiguity and when their only encounter with infected is over so effortlessly it removes all sense of horror. Although it conflicts with what i liked about the Generals orders, the fact we're shown one soldier goes out to save people, i found it hard to buy into the faceless military being so cold.

Most of my problems were kind of what the film had going for it, military threat over infected but I still felt cheated. OG was right in saying it's better than the 'Splat Pack' rubbish, it's a mature horror film that doesn't rely on gimmicks to draw you in, instead tries for a more accurate reality, which almost works but i never felt any empathy or tension and his assessment of character motivation is far from the mark in my book, the two main soldier leads loved helping the kids out. I dug the perspective the film took, with the voyeursism as much as the emotional reunion; was a nice touch but 28 Weeks Later never grabs your nuts and wrenchs them along the floor; after the beginning it just gives them a tickle and an easy way out.

What was with the Christopher Ecclestion look-a-like as well?


Was nice to see the French get a bit of a kicking though.

In Soviet America, you sue MPAA!
I'm still a littler unclear as to why exactly you didn't like it, Sexy Celebritas. You say it was a typical zombie flick, but half the death and half the running in the movie is at the hands of perfectly sane people and not the infected/zombies - that is definitely atypical.

Which is also what I liked about it. To me, the 28 Days concept isn't about zombies. The same goes for the Dead -ilogy. They have zombies (or infecteds) in them, but the horror really comes from mankind's role in the whole thing.

That's why I never even really considered a lack of direct zombie mayhem in the flick as a downside. I honestly didn't even notice. And it isn't that it is by any means a deep film - every one of the characters is pretty thin - it was, however, dense in its examination of life after the fact; which we soon realize is hardly the 'after' at all.


I just had a lengthy post replying to -OG's post, and I hit "Preview Post"... and completely lost it because it asked me to log in, even though I already had. I didn't log in, went back, lost it all. There's no reason to read this, but I'm mad because I lost it. I shall come back later then. Grrrr!

Well, I saw this a couple of hours ago. On some levels (most of them technical), I was very impressed. In terms of actual plot developments, I was very underwhelmed. I didn't care for the ending, but more importantly, I really didn't find "Code Red" even remotely believable. I'll see if I can find time to elaborate tomorrow. I'll probably write a review, too.


I just had a lengthy post replying to -OG's post, and I hit "Preview Post"... and completely lost it because it asked me to log in, even though I already had. I didn't log in, went back, lost it all. There's no reason to read this, but I'm mad because I lost it. I shall come back later then. Grrrr!
This won't do much good now, but in those sorts of situations you can log in, and hit the back button until it takes you to the initial login prompt; then, hit refresh and confirm that you want to report the form data. That should resubmit the form you filled out before.

I liked the ending (mainly France being trashed) but it had what was missing in the rest of film I felt. Day after seeing it, the slick production has stuck with me, definitely some impressive direction and visuals.

WARNING: "28 Weeks Later" spoilers below
I didn't like it because when the father kissed his zombie immuned wife and caught the rage virus... it was like the kiss of death for this movie!!! That alone didn't necessarily ruin it for me. In fact, I applaud it because I didn't see it coming. What sucked is the already interesting storyline became utterly boring afterwards. This is how I break it down:

- Suspenseful, nerve rattling opening sequence
- The shock of finding the mother still alive
- The twist in the series - mom's immune to the virus
- The shocking death of the mom and dad soon afterwards
- The whole crazy chaotic explosion/dad zombie on the loose scene (I was really impressed and moved by the visuals)


BAD 28 Weeks Later:
- With the parents now dead, it's up to the kids and the female doctor to take over the story
- The kids, frankly, suck and make me wish the zombies would catch them
- Goes nowhere with the zombie immunity thing, other than trying to keep the kids safe
- Some military guy comes into the picture and died soon after
- The female doctor, who I was rooting for, died
- Kids come out and tell the guy in the helicopter, "We're the only ones left". The boy now has the virus, which you can apparently see in his eye. At this point, I started thinking that the military guy would notice that... and shoot the boy dead! Quite possibly his sister too, in order to keep himself safe. That would ruin any possible hope of a zombie vaccine for now! I would have liked that ending, and felt sad for the poor kids too. But alas, they flew to France with the military guy... and it looks like the guy should have done what I was thinking. He could be dead. But either way, France is f***ed now.

It's the whole second part that I can't stand. They ran out of cool ideas, in my opinion. The zombies in France isn't a cool idea. What a cliche. That's like sticking Macauley Culkin in New York for Home Alone 2. Or having Ben Willis, the psycho fisherman from the I Know What You Did... series, in the Bahamas for part two. Or Pinhead and Leprechaun in space. I know that in real life, viruses do spread to other places... but c'mon! This is a horror movie and now the 28 Days zombies are going viva la France for part 3. If they don't come up with some new ideas, they might be in Japan for part 4.

28 Weeks Later could have been a masterpiece even if nobody died in the film. Not a single person. The idea of some people being immune to the rage virus is interesting enough. I would have loved to have seen them working on a cure in a lab, with the storyline ending on the revelation that the cure works... or doesn't work. Perhaps twenty-eight weeks after 28 Days Later didn't have to be more mayhem, more zombie action, more and more death. Maybe it could have been the time when they cure the virus.

Let's hope that a Parisian doctor has something more to offer in 28 Months Later...

I didn't see the ending as cliche or sequel set up, well it was kinda, but felt it was more a case of the inevitable. I dig your idea of what the pilot should've done, would've made the movie A LOT better, kept in tone with the rest as well, and then we see it get to France anyway. In fact, i'm just gonna pretend that's what happened anyway.

Well, here's my review:

28 Weeks Later

Zombie films are generally bleaker than other horror films. Some have speculated that they are ultimately about the inevitability of death, which is certainly reflected in the manner in which most of them end. 28 Weeks Later chooses to add to this inevitability the fact that it can strike suddenly, and without warning. In this film, death sprints.

In 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle's 2002 film, animal rights activists unwittingly release the "Rage" virus from a British laboratory into the general population. The film follows a few scattered survivors and their attempts to alternatingly avoid and kill "the infected," who attack and consume everything living with stunning ferocity and singlemindedness.

As 28 Weeks Later opens, the infection has apparently stabilized. An American-led NATO force has setup a "safe zone" in the city, and most of the infected have starved to death. Britons are slowly admitted back to their country after a rigorous screening process. It goes without saying that something manages to breach this security, the specifics of which I will leave to the viewer to discover.

Technically, the film is impressive. Camera angles successfully invoke a sense of claustrophobia, the music is mournful and droning (though a little too prominent), the sound is superb, and all of the performances are believable. However, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's propensity for the infamous "shaky cam" manuever invokes more confusion than excitement.

The story is passable for the first 30 minutes, and the picture it paints is chilling and believable. But when faced with another outbreak, the reaction of the U.S. military is utterly laughable. To be sure, one of the things that makes the Rage virus so terrifying is how difficult it is to contain. Nevertheless, any military force would know this, and the idea that there'd be any kind of rebuilding without a multi-tiered containment system just doesn't past any test of realism.

This failure of planning requires that U.S. soldiers and commanders make a number of excruciating moral choices, especially in situations where it is difficult (and, sometimes, impossible) to tell the innocent from the infected. There are some hazy political messages here, but Fresnadillo and his co-writers (Enrique López Lavigne, Rowan Joffe, and Jesus Olmo) wisely avoid anything overt.

The buildup of tension is often fantastic, but the film offers little in the way of meaningful payoff. The ending is not definitive -- though open-endings are par for the course in this genre -- and the fate of multiple characters is left completely ambiguous, with little to no hint as to what may have taken place.

28 Weeks Later doesn't end, it stops. And it stops in such a way that a continuation of the story is quite likely. Despite this shortcoming, one can't help but look forward to the next installment, if only because it will presumably spend more time on the outside world's response to the epidemic; perhaps with an actual denouement this time.

I liked it, for all the reasons OG did, so it's not worth me repeating stuff Thought it was a worthy sequel to 28 Days Later. Plot holes to run a truck through, but it was too entertaining to care about those!

Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bright
Well, I'm going to drag this thread back out from the depths here if that's OK...

I just watched it on DVD, never had a chance while it was in theaters.

As a foreword to my thoughts, when I saw 28 Days Later I started to get a little bored after a bit seeing the guy wandering around... sorta thinking to myself "yes, I get it, you are all alone, possibly the only one left" etc, etc... but was very glad I stuck with it, I was impressed with it overall in the long run (maybe a 4/5 stars...). Definitely worth a look see if you like zombie flicks, mostly because its a different take on the story than I was used to.

Also, I'm not going to go too in depth with a review. Personally, I don't ever want to do that, for any film... either I liked it and would tell people, "yeah, its worth checking out", or tell people "no, I thought it was kinda crappy, but make up your own mind". I would estimate that at least 8 out of every 10 reviews for a film become bias in one direction or the other for a reason that doesn't have much bearing on whether a film would be good to see. I also personally think most reviews/reviewers get TOO caught up in nuance, or break down the plot into very tiny bits that usually don't hold up because of that. My take is, after stopping the DVD, or leaving the theater, on if it was a good movie, is "did I have fun?" Of course fun can mean being scared, or moved, or whatever emotions, but what it comes down to is... was that a waste of my time, or was I glad I spent the time to suspend belief?

With all that said... I liked 28 Weeks Later. I got shocked when I was supposed to, and freaked out by all the crazy people running around, and what happened to them because of the "code red". Yes, there were plot issues here and there, but to me... so what, I had fun watching it. My only disappointment is not having seen it in the theater.

I'd give it 3.5 to 4/5 stars
The Divide by Zero Foundation - Where the real world ends... and mine begins

I'm watching this film now, by now most have seen it...
To me, the villians or two who are responsible for all the mayham, are the two kids...
For had they not snuck out of their dads house, and back into the infected area, all would have been ok...there would of never been a second out break...

And the kids never seem to 'get it'....that they're the ones responsible for the second outbreak...

And there's one scene, when they're in a park resting, after a brave soldier led them to safety...that the daughter says to the brother 'They left us again'....
I'm thinking to myself...how selfish...how so so selfish...I felt like jumping into the movie and saying to that character...'Look, if you had stayed at home, and not crossed into the infected zone, and broke laws, none of this would of happened...and both your parents, at least your fther, would still be alive.'

Just because the daughter and son were 'cute' and 'cuddly' looking, didn't prevent me for seeing them for who they really were...(their characters)....
They were self centerd deviants...regardless of their looks...

And it was them, who were responsible for the second outbreak, and they never realized that or took responsibility for their behavior...that's what annoyed me.

But that aside...I do like the pace of the film...
I don't see how people can compare 28 weeks later to I am Legend...the two movies have a totally different feel....

Maybe I am Legend would feel more like 28 weeks later, had they shown events right after the infection...but they didn't...in I am Legend, they skipped ahead like 3 years, after all the mayham was complete...that's why the films feel different...and the viruses effect the people differently...
28 wks later virus, did not make them so they couldn't go in the sun. So they could run around during daylight hours...

In I am legend...the virus made it so the infected couldn't tolerate sun light, as if it had more of genetic altering effect on people...

Any ways...they had Aliens vs Preditor Freddy vs Jason...now it's time to see 28 days later infected vs I am legend infected....

Seems way more overproduced and doesn't deliver the same feel as the first.

"Live forever or die trying"
I liked it over the first one, the first one took a little too long to get into in my opinion. But seeing as its a sequel i guess that's to be expected seeing as you know what the first one is about.