28 Weeks Later (directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo) brings modern age zombies back to the big screen, but cult fans of the original film 28 Days Later may want to save their dollars until this one hits the video store.
28 Weeks Later combines melancholy music, dark cinematography and camera shots that alternate between long fluid movements and careening hand held footage in order to draw the audience into disturbingly graphic scenes. In the sequel, the audience is taken on an action packed journey with the Harris family as they attempt to escape the disease that affected millions of individuals across Great Britain in the original modern day zombie film.
The film is launched with a heart pounding chase scene that leaves Don Harris as the sole survivor among a group who has taken refuge at a small farm in rural England. Coincidentally, it is Don and his wife who open the door to the rebirth of the zombie disease, which sends their very own children on a journey to escape the condemned country. The movie climaxes with an escape scene shot nearly entirely in night vision. Although fans will adore the grainy quality of the movie, which filmmakers carried over from the original, and the fast paced story, there are a few problems with the sequel.
Story line was not this film’s strong point. The audience can see that a good idea was in place, but not carried through to the screen with complete clarity. Supporting characters enter and exit scenes in such a dominating fashion that the audience has trouble identifying the main character of the film. Also, the main point of the film is a mutation of the original virus. A nice idea, yet with the mutation the filmmakers added several discrepancies in character, which are not thoroughly explained by the mutation explanation. In other words the zombies do not obey as the audience expects.
In addition, many scenes were built around jarring hand held footage that is designed to disorient the audience, yet at times the footage becomes so jumbled that it is difficult to identify the character actions. In some instances the bouncing shots are so obtuse that the footage becomes nearly monotonous.
Coming from a fan who thought the original film was one of the most innovative horror movies of modern filmmaking, 28 Weeks Later is an entertaining ride that I suggest movie goers choose to experience from a comfortable recliner at home.