We all know that this Halloween will not look like other Halloweens from years past. And yet, the month of October waits for us all the same. It is about time we put the spirit of Halloween back into that abandoned department store that we call the year of 2020. So to celebrate, we at Full Circle Cinema put together a curated, month-long series called Screen Screams. This time, we will be covering all things zombies. For this review, we look at the incredibly intense zombie thriller 28 Weeks Later.
28 Weeks Later is an intense follow-up to the 2002 film 28 Days Later. With that film, it followed a group of survivors during what turns out to be a zombie-like apocalypse in the UK. As expected for a sequel, 28 Weeks Later follows the aftermath of those events. The U.S. government comes into the UK and helps quarantine survivors and maintain order in London.
The film follows Don (Robert Carlyle), a man who’s been hiding with his wife, Alice (Catherine McCormack), and other survivors of the original outbreak. Hoping that soon they will find a new sanctuary in a safe haven and see their children again, Don and Alice run into some very traumatic trouble. Don eventually meets up with his children, Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) inside of London’s safe haven, and things slowly spiral out of control.
This film is probably one of the best zombie films I have ever seen. The opening of this film is the most intense 15 minutes I’ve ever seen in a horror film. It prepares you for things to come and sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo gets some really great acting out of his cast and equipped a great team to put this film together. Fresnadillo along with Rowan Joffe, E.L. Lavigne, and Jesus Olmo give us a great screenplay full of gruesome deaths, intense zombie sequences, and awesome action sequences. The cinematography from Enrique Chediak gives the film an uneasy feeling and helps with the suspense of the film. The assembled team to make this film work is great all the way down to editor Chris Gill. Throughout the film, Gill’s cutting plays an important part in maintaining a sense of nuance.
The cast of this film is stacked as well. Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, and Idris Elba headline this amazing cast. That said, everybody feeds off of Carlyle’s energy throughout the film. Even in the scenes without him, Carlyle’s presence pushes performances to top tier levels. The suspense is there even in calmer scenes because you are waiting on the inevitable. He’s the glue to this movie on or off the screen and elevates it with a great performance.
I have nothing but high praise for what Fresnadillo and his team did with this film. From beginning to end, I was in suspense waiting on the next piece of the film to fall in place. If I had an issue with this film it’s that there was really never a resolution. Other than that, this film works perfectly, and with everything going on right now in the world this fits on so many ironic levels. We need more thorough films that show you what they really are, and you’re not spending the entire time guessing. You are always in suspense and wondering what is about to happen. This film is fantastic, and I think every zombie film lover should see it. – Rascal F. Kennedy
28 Weeks Later is available on Blu-ray and Digital HD.
The film stars Robert Carlyle, Imogen Poots, Catherine McCormack, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, and Idris Elba.