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28 Weeks Later (2007)
Rated R

Starring: Catherine McCormack, Robert Carlyle, and Amanda Walker

Rating:
***
out of
*****

In 2003, a little film called 28 Days Later helped reinvigorate the zombie movie genre. The creatures in 28 Days Later aren't technically zombies, but rather humans infected with the "rage" virus. Like zombies, their only reason for existence is to prey on the living. Instead of possessing the shuffling, sluggish gait of the typical undead, the "infected" of 28 Days Later ran after their victims with a determination never before seen in horror films up to that point. This created a whole new set of situations with which to scare viewers since the "infected" weren't so easily out-maneuvered as the typical movie zombie.

2007's 28 Weeks Later picks up the story seven months after the initial infection of the first film. The "rage" virus is thought to have been eliminated. The repopulation of Britain has begun and airplanes filled with people begin landing in London. The U.S. Army has been called in to assist with the job of rebuilding the infrastructure of the country since Britain's own army was decimated by the virus.

Two children, Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) and Tammy (Imogen Poots), have come back to Britain and are reunited with their father, Don (Robert Carlyle). Don and his wife, Alice (Catherine McCormack), encountered the infected during the outbreak. Alice was thought killed and Don narrowly escaped. Don explains to his kids that he saw their mother killed and barely made it out alive.

After a night in their father's new apartment, the children sneak out of the military safe-zone and try to visit their old home. Once inside, they discover a woman in the attic who appears to be their mother. She survived on canned food and stayed out of sight to avoid the infected. She's taken back to the military base where it's discovered that, although she's not infected with the virus, she is carrying it in her bloodstream. She seems to possess a natural immunity. Of course, bringing the infection into the military base is not a good idea and soon all that can go wrong does just that.

28 Weeks Later begins with an interesting premise: rebuilding a country after a massive biological disaster. But the rest of the movie is rather predictable and fairly unnecessary. Where the first film introduced the sprinting infected, 28 Weeks Later has no surprises or anything of interest to say. Introducing the military and their unique set of problems in dealing with the infected is notable but it isn't dealt with in a satisfying manner. Halfway through the movie, a chase begins that abandons all of the elements that seemed poised to make 28 Weeks Later a truly gripping horror film. As it is, it's merely a bridge to extend the original film's creativity into an ongoing series of films. (Yes, that means this film leaves a sequel almost a certainty.)

Trivia: The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff doubled for the interior of Wembley Stadium because, at the time of filming, the interior of the newly built Wembley was still under construction. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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