28 Weeks Later

Rated: R

        11 years ago when my husband and I first started dating we decided one balmy August evening to go out for dinner and a movie. I don’t remember where we had dinner, but I certainly remember what movie we saw. It was 28 Days Later, the first in what’s since turned into a series. That set off an odd chain of occurrences for us, because since then almost every movie or TV show we watch has some form of vomit in it.  It certainly doesn’t seem the stuff dreams are made of, but it seems to have worked for us! Now let me explain a little further.

                28 Weeks Later, the obvious sequel to 28 Days Later, is a zombie movie. This franchise was the first to use the “fast zombie” formula, and many have since borrowed that idea. In these movies the people become zombies by catching what they call “the rage virus”; a virus that works on its host in mere seconds to transform them into hungry, angry, blood puking, very fast zombies.  And of course there’d be no movie if this virus wasn’t VERY easily transmitted. In this movie it’s been 6 months since the rage virus first wiped out most of the citizens in Britain. The US army has created a heavily fortified and quarantined safe-zone on Dog Island on the Thames River in London. They are allowing some people to return to the city to be reunited with loved ones, when the virus re-emerges to wipe out everything they’ve accomplished thus far.

                As is typical in such films there are plenty of moments that will have you jumping out of your seat, as well as plenty that will have you yelling at the screen at the obvious stupidity of the characters. What I didn’t really like about this sequel is that it can’t really stand on its own against the original. Of course the story ties into the first movie, it wouldn’t be a sequel if that didn’t happen, but it seems to rely a bit too heavily on the story the first movie tells. At least half of this one is spent on the back story of the parents of the main characters, which is of course set (supposedly) during the same time period as 28 Days Later, but the way the flashbacks happen just makes things confusing at first. It’s very hard to tell if you’re watching a flashback, or something that’s still happening in another area of Britain.

Another peeve I have with this movie, and really most horror films these days, is the ending. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you, but the ending is left WIDE open so there’d be no problem with continuing the franchise even further. And then there’s the predictability of it all. I’m aware of the fact that there seems to be an unwritten rule that says that for a horror movie to be fun it’s got to beat least a little bit predictable, but I don’t want to guess how a movie’s going to end within the first  15 minutes of it.

I could easily go on and on picking this movie apart, but I won’t. I don’t want to totally ruin it for all of you, and I certainly don’t want the label of kill joy. I know that by now you’re probably wondering “why even bother watching this movie then?” Well, I’ll tell you a few reasons why you should. First, if you haven’t seen 28 Days Later, the first movie,you must start there. Not only will 28 Weeks Later not make much sense if you don’t, but its one of the best horror films I’ve ever seen. Second, 28 Weeks Later is just a fun horror movie. You know there’ll be gore and screams and scares, but you watch anyways, because it’s fun. Third, if you’ve already seen 28 Days Later then you HAVE to watch 28 Weeks Later. It’s one of those things that will bother you until you do (I know it bothered me!). Isn’t it essential to know what happens next? And last, you won’t be able to watch the third movie, (if and when it comes out. There are many rumors floating around the internet) 28 Months Later, until you see the first 2 movies.

28 Weeks Later is Rated R (of course) was directed by the famous Danny Boyle and stars Robert Carlyle, Imogen Poots, MacKentosh Mullegan and Jeremy Renner. Idris Alba, Rose Byrne, Harold Perrineau and Catherine McCormack also appear. 28 Weeks Later is available now on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download.