28 Weeks Later - Sucks the Life

20th Century Fox
Duration: 99min
Category: horror
Available: On DVD
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What makes me so disappointed in this sequel, is that the first movie, 28 Days Later was so smart and scary. It is even more disappointing when a poorly made movie is a sequel which doesnít live up to the brilliance of its predecessor.

28 Days Later was a smart, emotional and well made thriller. There are moments in 28 Weeks Later that begin to approach that, but there are too many stupid parts that make it impossible to appreciate the few good things about the sequel.

Problem one: One of the biggest mistakes that amateur horror directors make in the first decade of the 21st century is that they attempt to generate fear by waiving the camera around really fast to the point where the audience canít tell whatís going on. The problem with this is that is saps any and all sources of fear for the audience. If the audience canít tell what risk of danger there is because they canít tell what going on or how far away the attacker is to the victim, itís hard for the audience to get worked up.

Think of the best, frightening moments from classic scary films. It is about feeling the ďkillerĒ approach and not feeling like you can get away. Waiving the camera about without establishing perspective just drains away any chance there is to feel a part of the moment or invested in the scene.

In 28 Weeks Later, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, whose only directed 3 other films, cheats by neglecting to create a sense of place and spacial relations. He simply jerks the camera around whenever he wants to create fear. It doesnít work. It falls flat. The biggest problem with 28 Weeks Later, is that itís never scary.

Okay, ďneverĒ is an exaggeration. The opening sequence is pretty well done. This makes it even more frustrating that the rest of the movie gets so un-scary.

Problem two: Too many eye-rolling moments. Two children are able to sneak past the US Army who are tasked with keeping the civilians from entering a danger zone. Come on! Then, once the army is aware they have escaped, the children are allowed to run all over abandoned London without being picked up. Itís not like they will be hard to findÖ the city is deserted and they are riding across the tower bridge on a scooter. Again, come on!

Then, after the lockdown, civilians are being held in a secure facility, but it just so happens that no one is watching one back door. Guess where the zombies get in!

Another groaner is how the rage infected father is able to accidentally run into his own children at the climax of the film so they have a chance to shoot him. Itís a million to one chance yet the film makers ask us to swallow it.

Also, we are supposed to believe that the patient who may hold the secret to a cure to the virus isnít being guarded at all and a janitor with an access card is able to use it to get past all military security.

These plot holes are so over the top that I couldnít get myself to care about the film or its characters. Itís tragic because there are moments when the film contemplates getting really good and touching some seriously disturbing places. But the ridiculousness (itís laziness on the part of the film makers and writers) of the plot ruins any chance the film has of being taken seriously. This is a film series whose strength is based on its realism, and this film canít muster enough realistic reasons to advance its plot. It fails.

28 Weeks Later is not scary and itís not intelligent. Itís everything that 28 Days Later was not.

Review By: Collin Smith

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