“28 Weeks Later,” review by Susan Granger

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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 Alice’s 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. She’s “infected” but not exhibiting any zombie rage. Obviously, the scourge is not over and an American doctor Scarlet (Rose Byrne) thinks her blood – and Andy’s – 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, they’re 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.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.