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The sequel to 28 days later
28 Weeks Later (DVD)
Member Name: cerys82
28 Weeks Later (DVD)
Date: 11/04/10, updated on 12/04/10 (38 review reads)
Advantages: Entertaining, scary
Disadvantages: Not particularly groundbreaking
*This is a film only review
Ok, I will admit this right off the bat - I have never seen 28 Days Later, the original of which this sequel is based and I am also definitely not a horror movie fan! I do however know the basic premise and my husband who had seen it wanted to watch this
The premise is pretty simple. A incurable virus called RAGE has infected the UK, the focus is on London mainly in particularly. It has turned those infected into zombie-like creatures who then spread it en masse to 'civillians' through their saliva - that is through bites.
When we begin, we join a rural farmhouse where a number of people are holed up including a husband and wife (played by Robert Carlyle and Catherine McCormack) who have been separated from their children in their escape from the disease and are unaware of their fate. The building soon comes under attack from the diseased people and Carlyle escapes alone on a nearby boat.
We then join him sometime later, and in the preceding months since the initial outbreak London has become a martial state, governed by the army - in particular the US army. The survivors are closely monitored and controlled in a quarantined facility whilst the military powers that be try to assess their next move. Meanwhile, Carlyle's character is happily reunited with his children and faces the sad task of informing them of the death of their mother. Through curiosity, the children break the quarantine - setting in motion a chain of events which puts the disease firmly in control once again.
I did enjoy the film. It is certainly pacey and provides a few fair short sharp shocks. In places it is also suitably claustrophobic engaging a number of clever tricks in order for us to follow the actions as the few remaining survivors endeavour to escape. It comes to best effect towards the end when we can only see the action through a night-vision camera.
All of the characters are expendable, maintaining a real sense of unpredictability and novelty. As with the iconic imagery that I have seen in reference to the first film, the eerily empty streets and landmarks of London are used to devastating effect - although losing the element of surprise and icon status that the promotion around the first one had. It has a real sense of gritty realism but also feels fresh well-made and cinematic.
The performances are uniformly very good. Particularly those of Robert Carlyle's children. There is not much in the way of plot to be fair, focussing mainly on the action but that is not to say that it is any the less engaging. Needless to say, it is very violent - largely of the bloody variety. Being of a very squeamish nature, I just about managed it but did jump several times.
In conclusion, whilst it is not a film which I would choose to watch again and again - it is a smart film with enough shocks and surprises to keep you entertained as well as being very visually stunning.
Summary: A good solid British horror