“28 Weeks Later,” review by Susan Granger
This grisly follow-up to the horror hit 28 Days Later continues the zombie infestation and plants the seed for a third installment.
In the opening sequence, Don (Robert Carlyle) and his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) have sought shelter and are sharing a meager meal with a few other survivors when, suddenly, zombies invade. Don flees in terror while Alice is left behind.
Britain has been quarantined since its population was decimated by a mysterious virus. London is occupied by U.S.-led NATO troops, and the country is declared free of infection. Reconstruction and repatriation begin and, 28 weeks later, evacuees are allowed to return to a restricted zone.
Among the arrivals are Don and Alices children: Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) and Tammy (Imogen Poots). Unwilling to admit that he abandoned their mother, Don tells a revisionist version of the episode. But when the kids sneak out to visit their home, they find Alice cowering in the attic. Shes infected but not exhibiting any zombie rage. Obviously, the scourge is not over and an American doctor Scarlet (Rose Byrne) thinks her blood – and Andys – contain an immunity that could generate a vaccine. Helped by Marines (Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau), Scarlet and the kids are on the run, pursued by a military firestorm and enraged zombies.
While Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, along with Rowan Joffe (son of director Roland), Alex Garland and Danny Boyle introduce a new cast of characters, theyre thinly drawn and subservient to the tension-filled atmosphere, filled with dread and foreboding, a result of inventive cinematography and production design. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, 28 Weeks Later is a gruesome, suspenseful 7 that could be interpreted as timely commentary on U.S. overconfidence in Iraq.