Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|28 Weeks Later |
Actors: Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne, Robert Carlyle, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
28 WEEKS LATER is sequel to the successful 28 Days Later. The film pick up six months after the Rage virus has spread throughout the city of London. The United States Army has restored order and is repopulating the quara... more »
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The perfect horror sequel
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 07/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I heard that this was coming out, I was not expecting much. The original is arguably THE zombie classic (discounting the hysterical "Shaun of the Dead") of the last decade, but the sequel involved almost none of the original minds that brought us the stark terror of "28 Days Later", which combined the threats of cataclysmic disease and it's deadly effects on the mind which caused those infected by what became known as the "Rage Virus" to viciously and relentlessly attack the uninfected, either killing the victim or spreading the disease. A sequel had potential of course, but it seemed like it would be a by-the-books popcorn affair. Boy, was I wrong.
People complained that the first film started too slowly and was boring for the first twenty minutes; I disagree, but that issue has been addressed nonetheless. The opening sequence flashes back to another group of survivors during the original outbreak. Their fate is one you won't forget; it is startling, chaotic, terrifying, dramatic, hopeless, and heartbreaking, all within one fairly short chain of events. That's when I knew this one was going to be everything I wished it would be and it never let me down. This film is epic and personal, gruesome yet tearful, and manages to give you everything you want, even when you had no clue that you wanted it.
The evolution of the Rage Virus is a fascinating one in that it manages to outlive the death of all of the infected (from starvation) by exploiting a rare gene that allows some people to be carriers of the virus without succumbing to it's effects. The result: even kissing your wife hello could be the catalyst for a new, deadly outbreak. The story kicks in 28 weeks after the infection dies and the US military is overseeing the repopulation of London; or a district of London to be precise. Every possible step is taken to ensure that the horror that was the infection that wiped Great Britain's population clean off the earth is not repeated. Naturally, the virus finds a way. As the crushing mass of humanity flees from the compromised quarantine and the murderous zombies, there is an amazing scene where the rooftop snipers are frantically trying to distinguish the civilians from the infected as they run down a bottlenecked street. The chaos and hopelessness of the situation are palpable as the camera shows us through a soldier's scope just what he is up against in dramatic fashion. The way that these situations of large-scale human terror are turned into personal struggles is what makes this movie a stone cold classic in my mind where it otherwise would have been just another great horror film.
The cinematography impresses as well. There are plenty more of those iconic shots of deserted London that bring back memories of the first film and make me wish I lived there so I could appreciate them more. Another nice touch. And the final shot of the film, while not unexpected, is one that will chill you to the bone and thrill you at the same time.
I've spent significant time trying to think of a horror sequel that surpassed the original so superbly and I honestly can't think of one. The closest would be the original "Dawn of the Dead", but I still prefer "Night of the Living Dead" to "Dawn" so "28 Weeks Later" takes it. This is an absolute take-no-prisoners, hard "R", work of terror that must be viewed by all professing to be horror fans.
A worthy successor to the original.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 05/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"28 Weeks Later... (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007)
So Alex Garland didn't write the 28 Days Later... sequel, nor did Danny Boyle direct it. I felt a bit better about this after hearing that the reason for both was time issues/contractual obligations (both were involved in the much-anticipated Sunshine when this got off the ground). So they brought in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) to both co-write and direct. I was still a touch leery walking into the theater, but the end result is that the movie was not as good as I'd hoped-- but a great deal better than I expected.
We start off with a group of survivors holed up in a cottage at the beginning of the outbreak (if you saw the original, the opening scene happens, presumably, while Cillian Murphy's character is still in a coma). Two of the people stuck there are Alice (Catherine McCormack) and Don (Robert Carlyle). During dinner one night, there's a pounding on the door, and they admit a young boy (Gary Robert Kelly's favorite actor, Beans El-Balawi). Unfortunately, the infected are hot on his tail, and you can guess the rest. Don escapes. 28 weeks later, the repatriation of Britain begins, and Don's kids Andy (the similarly wonderfully-named Mackintosh Muggleton in his first screen role) and Tammy (V for Vendetta's Imogen Poots) are reunited with him. But, as you know if you've seen thirty seconds of any trailer to the film, maybe they were a bit hasty in bringing people back to the island...
The good news is that Boyle did, in fact, act as second unit director, and directed a few scenes. The bad news, which isn't really so bad, is that it's pretty obvious which scenes they are. While the behind-the-scenes stuff they've been showing on TV singles out Boyle's direction of the opening scene, there are a few others scattered throughout as well. Boyle's adrenaline-rush jump cuts show up now and again, and there's an almost eerie similarity to the first film in those scenes. This is helped along by the fact that the producers used, for all intents and purposes, the same soundtrack John Murphy came up with for the first film, but without the silly happy synthesizer stuff that popped up now and again in that one. (And no uncredited Godspeed You Black Emperor! tracks this time round, either.) That said, Fresnadillo is a strong director in his own right, and he holds his own here. The story is less epic than the first one, with the focus squarely on Don and his kids, along with two army officers who try to help them escape the new outbreak of contagion. This could have easily become a weakness, with such a simple storyline, but Fresnadillo turns it into a strength. There are a lot of places where he could have branched out, and frankly I'd have liked to see some of them, but he kept focus throughout. He also didn't make the usual sequel mistake of showing the monsters too much, sticking to Boyle's original jump-cut plan when the infected get screen time (which is surprisingly little, actually); you get flashes, but with one ugly exception towards the end of the movie, we never get the whole "let's unveil the monster in all its glory" wankery so common in horror films with big effects budgets. (And even in the exception, he keeps it to a minimum and still uses the close-ups that make the infected so scary in the first place.) There were a few times I wished Garland had written the script, but Fresnadillo and his compatriots (who include the BAFTA-nominated Rowan Joffe) did well, for the most part.
The one truly weak point in the movie is that it's all set up very conveniently. You have a basic idea of what's coming from the first big plot twist (or, if you're more observant than I am, about ten minutes into the movie). That said, Fresnadillo still has a trick or two up his sleeve for the big payoff at the end of the movie, and oh, the payoff is so very, very worth it. Everything's set up nicely, and then Fresnadillo and co. sweep everything we think we know off the table.
Now, I know there are a few people who aren't going to like the sequel no matter what because it's a sequel, but in general, if you liked the first one, I think you'll get a kick out of this one, as well. Certainly worth paying matinée price for, even if your matinée pricing just skyrocketed like ours did. ****"
28 Weeks Later: Delivers What It Promises
Martin Asiner | Jersey City, NJ | 05/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Those who come to 28 WEEKS LATER from its original 28 DAYS know the general plot and themes. England has been overrun with crazed zombies who have been infected with the Rage Virus. The original was a smash hit partly because of its suspenseful direction and partly because of some pretty effective scenes of gore. In this sequel, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has added some troubling subtexts of political allegory, with an occupying U. S. Army clearly representing the current force in Iraq. Some reviewers have noted what they think is a plotless gorefest. Gore there is in plenty but it is not for that which gives the movie its unforgettable tang. Fresnadillo has succeeded in the rarest of all horror director goals--to place the audience right there in harm's way. The film opens with a married couple (Robert Carlyle and Catherine McCormack) seeking refuge from the zombies in a farmhouse. When the zombies break in, he panics and runs, leaving his wife to fall into their clutches. At this point, comparisons to other walking dead films become inevitable. George Romero in the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD chose to portray his zombies as stiff-legged reanimated ghouls who lumber slowly after their victims. Here the zombies are mercurial insane killers, not dead but akin to the true criminally insane who are human in all areas except in their brain dead desire to bite the living to infect them.
As the husband escapes to find his children alive (Imogen Poots and McKintosh Muggles) in a rebuilding London, he discovers to his shame that his wife has survived only to unintentionally infect him. What follows is a nightmarish set of fragmented holocausts in which he spreads the infection to thousands of others in just a few hours. His infection is particularly graphic. We can see how in less than a minute the light of humanity vanishes from his eyes to be replaced by a blackness of mindless rage that gives the virus its name. Though he is patient zero in the re-infection of London, he does not merge into the tsunami of the similarly infected. Like Coleridge's Albatross he continues to reappear at inopportune moments to torment his disbelieving children that their father has vanished to be replaced by a relentless doppleganger whose very ferocity to infect them becomes the driving symbol of the film.
I did have a problem with the point of view that Fresnadillo chose to take whenever the zombies appear on stage. At that point, he accelerated the frenetic pace of the film so that all the zombies began to run at top speed to the point that their faces began to merge into each other in a blur. This proved to a be predictable distraction. Fortunately however, Fresnadillo had the sense to slow down his camera whenever the father made his frequent appearances. Whenever I see a zombie film, I always wonder how the zombies act when they are not munching on victims. Why do they not attack each other? Do they rely on sight and smell to distinguish themselves from humanity? When Fresnadillo chooses to accelerate the pacing of the film, perhaps he tries to circumvent this potential philosophical distraction by forcing the audience to focus on the humans as the zombies see them rather than on how the zombies see each other.
The film has a number of individual moments of power, not all of which deal with zombie violence on humans. By midfilm, the focus shifts to human violence on uninfected humans as soldiers are given a morally troubling order to shoot everyone running out of a building when only a much smaller number of them are Ragers. By the time we get to the closing reel, we can see that the Ragers have no choice to kill. A virus drives them on. But uninfected humans are ragers in their own fashion as well. They kill out of fear, hatred, or in response to sanctioned orders. It is this non stop series of moral subtexts that renders 28 WEEKS LATER as a film that one will want to revisit, perhaps even after less than 28 weeks."
Time flies when you're running for your life
- Kasia S. | New York City | 06/30/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's always that extra obstacle to conquer when making sequels, for the lovers of the first movie the second needs a reason to exist, it has to be real, strong and carry the story further than one could have imagined. I really enjoyed "28 Days Later" because I got to see it in a half empty theater with a friend, and it felt so real and brutal that I walked out with my knees shaking. Then I saw this movie at home and while it still made me cringe I don't think that it was the lack of super sized screen that made the movie feel smaller than the first, somehow as good as it was there were flaws to it that made it hard for me to give it more stars.
Overall I'm glad I saw it, it was scary, bloody, gross, there was lots of close run ins and plenty of super hungry, super fast infected zombies but the little things that allowed the outbreak spread again made me shake my head in disbelief. At one point I was laughing (the scene in the dark at the stadium escalator) because it was so ridiculous and then I was flabbergasted at the bad decisions, like the new kids who arrived at the cleaned now London sneaked out to get something from their old home even thought it was forbidden to leave, they simply took this dramatic stance against everyone's safety as they opened the portals to hell for everyone else. I was surprised to see who was the main carrier of the virus and then who spread it to everyone else, I know the zombies were fast but the so called safe army guarded compound was like kindergarten during an Easter egg hunt, the infected ravaged anyone they pleased and it seemed that even all those weapons and precautions didn't do much to stop the spread.
The movie looked good, I liked the eerie and forlorn mood and it was a good chunk of horror watching on a rainy Sunday but the little bits of stupidity that well, allowed for the sequel to exist were little too much. At the end it left me feeling depressed, so I guess goal accomplished! Not bad but not the greatest although worth the watch for horror fans. I am guessing that if there is another entry it will be called 28 months later, now that would be interesting to see...
- Kasia S.