28 Weeks Later (2007)


The first film had a fairly small budget of $8-million, but when it was released in the US it already made it back with the weekend gross at $10-million. The film would eventually rake in at $45-million worldwide. We all knew a sequel was inevitable, and that it was just a matter of time. A couple years later, in 2005 original director Danny Boyle revealed that a sequel was finally in the works, but he would serve only as executive-producer and the original cast would not be able to return due to prior engagements. With a bigger budget and Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo of Intacto-fame behind the camera, the quality of the film was up in the air, but one thing was for certain and that the first movie had a lot of room for improvement.

Released on May 11th, 2007 with rave reviews, the movie opened at #2 in the box office with pretty much the same amount the first film did, just under $10-million. Though, word-of-mouth spread and the following week would see the total at $20-million. It's rare for me to see a movie in theaters now-a-days, but I managed to catch this in its second week and despite having to sit right in front of the screen due to lack of empty seats, I very much enjoyed the movie and thought it blew the first film away. Not only do we get more action, but they've also amped up the scares and blood ten-fold.

Six-months after the infection has seemingly died out, with all the remaining infected dead from starvation, the US army has secured a small area in Britain that's considered a "safe zone" for people to return to the country. Everything seems perfect until our two young leads decide to cross the barrier to the unsafe zone in order to gather their things they left behind in their old home. While there they discover their mother, whom they thought to have been killed by the infected, still alive and living in the home. It turns out that she is infact infected, but doesn't show the symptoms for some reason.

Apparently her blood is somehow immune to the virus, so she acts simply as a host. Of course, the army discovers this after they've brought her to the safe-zone, so the infection spreads, forcing them to shut down the area and kill anyone in their way, infected or not. This leads a rogue military agent named Doyle, a doctor named Scarlet, and a group of survivors to fend for themselves and attempt to make it out of the "safe zone" without getting killed either by the army or the infected themselves. The rest of the film plays out like a survival movie, as our leads try to make it through the city in hopes of getting picked up by a helicopter, whose pilot is friends with the rogue agent, Doyle.

In this movie we see more of the infected and how they will literally sprint like crazy after their prey, and we're shown more on-screen deaths and violence from the infected than we did in the first. They also made great use of sounds in the film, with loud screeching and other effects played out to scare the audience. Expect to be on the edge of your seat pretty much throughout the whole movie. I also thought the small sub-plot of one of a key infected literally hunting down our leads to be very interesting. It just shows that some can be somewhat intelligent if need-be. Speaking of which, in my opinion these aren't zombies.

Sure they attack in packs and will bite or tear their victims to shreds, but they are really just people infected with a virus that will make them really pissed off; that's how I see it. They're still living and they will use objects as blunt weapons, and they run incredibly fast. Of course, we've seen running zombies before, but a lot of these guys seem like marathon runners, especially in the beginning. These infected are much deadlier than slow-walking zombies, but that's just my opinion.

The movie's big budget really shows with some sequences, especially one involving a helicopter and dozens of infected -- truly awesome scene. I also really liked a sequence that involved our leads going through a pitch-black subway tunnel, only using the night vision from a weapon's scope to see. Although unrealistic, this was probably one of the most effected scenes in terms of tension, and reminded me a little of The Descent, when they used a hand-held camcorder's night vision to see in the dark cave. Next to Grindhouse, 28 Weeks Later is one of the best horror films to come out of 2007, and proves that sequels can surpass the first films. There hasn't been any talk of another sequel just yet, but I'd expect to see another to end the series as a trilogy. 28 Months Later? I'd see it!

One of the best horror films to come out of 2007 -- 28 Weeks Later surpasses the first movie in many ways and keeps us on the edge of our seats right from the start. See this movie.
One of the best horror films to come out of 2007 -- 28 Weeks Later surpasses the first movie in many ways and keeps us on the edge of our seats right from the start. See this movie.