Opening 30 Aug 2007
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Writing credits: Rowan Joffe, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Jesús Olmo
Principal actors: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Amanda Walker, Shahid Ahmed
Not having seen the film 28 Days Later, I was curious about the sequel. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo wrote the script and directs 28 Weeks Later. The main actors are Rose Byrne, Robert Carlyle, Idris Elba and Catherine McCormack.
The story starts calmly enough. A U.S. army helicopter circles over the deserted streets of London; the silver band of the Thames reflects the morning sun. Six months after the outbreak of the “killer virus rage,” the U.S. army has opened a safe “green” zone for re-population. The war against the deadly disease has been won. Refugees return to the quarantined city, carefully monitored by U.S. staff. The calm and orderly situation is frequently disrupted by sudden flashbacks, which make you jumpy, as they show “rage” infected victims turned into mindless psychotics, screaming wildly, vomiting thick blood from distorted mouths, ready to chase and attack any other human. Nervous tension builds up. The worst fears are realised when the disease erupts once more, and all havoc breaks loose.
The whole movie screen seems to be filled with blood. A multitude of screams, shrieks and loud music emphasize the chaos. A hand-held camera brings the viewer even closer to the hectic action, right up to huge open mouths, throwing up violent-red blood. The U.S. commander changes zone “green” into zone “red”. Frightened, desperate people run and shout – and are even shot at by soldiers from the helicopter. Finally, the army declares the situation out of control. It gave me the creeps to see what zone “red” and loss of control by the authorities meant, namely: collateral damage is the order of the day. Innocent, normal people are pushed into hopeless circumstances by their fellow humans. It is a gripping, emotional and scary movie – not for the fainthearted.
I have to admit that I did not stay the full 96 minutes of the film but left the movie house early, mainly because I just cannot stomach so much on-screen violence, high-level noise and gory scenes. 28 Weeks Later belongs to the genre “horror, sci-fi, thriller” and has been raved about by hard-core movie goers as a true, adult-certified, horror film. (Birgit Schrumpf)