28 Weeks Later is a perfect example of what I like to call the “Blair Witch Project Effect.” That is when a low budget indie film is given a big budget glossy Hollywood sequel, and the resulting film lacks all the magic of the original. One of the things that made 28 Days Later so great was the shots of deserted London. It felt creepy and real, or maybe it felt creepy because it felt real. And don’t get me wrong, 28 Weeks Later has some incredible shots of the deserted city, which is much more expansive than the first film. They had the money and resources to make it happen. And may-be it’s because it looks almost too good, too glossy, that it just isn’t believable.
The film starts off with the best horror opening since Zack Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead, and quickly falls apart soon after. Too many characters and quickly introduced, few of whom you find connection. Who are these people? What are their roles? You probably wont know who the main character is until 30 minutes in. It’s both confusing and frustrating. The story degenerates into a horrible series of badly scripted coincidences, including the token identifiable Zombie bad guy who keeps showing up like a bad penny.
Like the first film, the story becomes very episodic and quickly evolves into a militaristic story half way through (although, 28 Weeks Later keeps with the Zombie chase more than the first film). And like most films in the Dystopian story genre, there are a lot of cool ideas displayed, but not fully explored.
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo offers a few new tricks in terms of cinematography including a reverse Requiem for a Dream/Pi P.O.V. cam showing a Zombie in action. And he even borrows the cool Chopper sequence from Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror. But sometimes the camera direction is too shaky, seemingly just for effect. One sequence has flashing strobe lights which were so intense that I was forced me to look away from the screen (and I’m far from squeamish).
/Film Rating: 6 out of 10