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28 WEEKS LATER
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Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Starring:
Catherine McCormack
Robert Carlyle
Amanda Walker

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
28 weeks after the rage virus infected and practically destroyed London, a quarantined area has been set up with plans to repopulate the country. Every thing's hunky dory until the infection breaks loose again, pitting citizens against the infected and the U.S. military for survival.
Is it good movie?
Making a follow-up sequel to one of the scariest movies in years is quite a feat to take on. Lucky for the audience, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo did an amazing job and gave us a sequel that not only grasped the direction and the vibe from the original, but gave us something new and unique to chew on as well! From it's intense (and glorious) opening sequence, right down to the climatic subway scene, 28 WEEKS LATER delivered when it came to satisfactory 'zombie' fun, as well as a having us follow a group of characters we could actually relate to and root for.

Packed with enough blood to make even Romero cringe, WEEKS didn't pull any punches when it came to spraying, splattering, chopping, puking, and exploding of blood in every way possible. Yes, they're not technically 'zombies', but the zombie feel was there and I was loving every second of it. Plus, it may showcase one of the better sequences to glorify one of the many useful ways a helicopter can be used in a situation like this. Wow. I was utterly shocked!

Everyone did a great job, as far as the acting is concerned. It was great to see Robert Carlyle in this type of horrorfic setting. It was fun to see him as the loving father that you sympathize with, then BAM! as the raging 'leader' of the infected. The siblings (Imogen Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton) also did a stand-up job, as they managed to pull off being kids and not be totally annoying. I wanted them to survive, and except for a couple of times, they weren't overally stupid in their actions.

Lastly, the musical score/theme to this movie f*cking rocked my socks off! The fantastic overture rocked loud and hard, and stuck with me for hours after the credits rolled. Music is such a key character to a movie like this, and it shined through and through to the fullest extent possible.

Some people may have a problem with the film's overall style, as the filmmakers utilized the 'hand-held' camera style here. I personally thought the shaky cam added to the flicks overall intensity, but I could see where some folks may not really be into it, as the camera is continuously moving throughout.

Video / Audio
Video: Beautifully presented in 1.81:1 widescreen, and enhanced for 16X9 TVs. The colors were bright and vibrant, and all around masterful.

Audio: Rockin' out in 5.1 Stereo Surround Sound, every scream, crunch and splatter was felt from all sides of my living room.

The Extras
Commentary by director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and writer/producer Enrique López Lavigne: Insightful commentary by the filmmakers, I found it interesting to hear about their 'guerrilla' style of filmmaking, as well as some of the themes and angles they were trying to accomplish here. If you liked this movie, you'll dig this.

Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary): Two deleted scenes are presented here, the first called 'The Canteen', the other 'Andy's Underground Dream'. Both were cool to watch, but in the end, I'd have to agree with the filmmakers here: they both broke up the pacing, and were therefore dropped. Definitely worth a watch, though.

Code Red: The Making of 28 Weeks Later: 13 minutes of your standard 'making of' fair. It features some nice interviews with cast/crew, including Danny Boyle who did some second unit directing, as well as served as executive producer. Better than most because they don't just sit and talk about how awesome everyone involved is, or how awesome the movie is - went into the origins of the idea, and touched on just about everything else.

The Infected: Fun little feature about those who play the infected. The make-up they wore, and the training they received to transform from normal person to raging maniacs. Plus, a little tidbit on the gore and f/x they used during the helicopter scene. Cool stuff. (7 Minutes)

Getting into the Action: The lesser of the three featurettes (for me, at least), this one talked about the action sequences that was involved with this film (but not in great detail), then steered away to discuss the different directing styles between Boyle and Fresnadillo. Wasn't needed in this featurette, but was interesting none-the-less. (7 Minutes)

28 Days Later: The Aftermath - Stage 1: Development: Bringing to life the graphic novel that bridged 28 Days Later to 28 Weeks Later, this stage is how the rage virus was created in the first place. Though I wouldn't call it animation, the panels were 'brought to life' straight out of the graphic novel, with music, sound effects, and voice overs moving the story along. I've read the graphic novel before this, and they did a damn fine job putting it in motion.

28 Days Later: The Aftermath - Stage 3: Decimation: The third stage was my favorite stage from the graphic novel, so not surprisingly, my favorite one here. A little slicker in it's 'animation', this stage focused on a virus infected London, and a couple of dueling vigilante's who dig on taking out the 'crazies'. A cool artistic and animation style equaled some good times all around.

Trailers: Theatrical trailer for 28 Weeks Later, as well as 28 Days Later, The Hills Have Eyes 2, Lake Placid 2, Pathfinder, Perfect Creature, Wrong Turn 2, Day Watch, and Sunshine.

Last Call
There's nothing more terrifying than being chased by hordes of flesh eating people infected with a rage virus. 28 WEEKS LATER puts you in the middle of yet another outbreak, and it never lets go... until the very end. The DVD didn't pull any punches when it came to extras, making this package (kick-ass movie + kick-ass DVD) worth it's weight in gold. Belongs in every modern-day horror movie collection, and is a prime example of how not all sequels suck.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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