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Zombie Horror Film

28 Weeks Later

This is the sequel to Danny Boyle's hit apocalyptic zombie flick. It's now 28 weeks after the initial rage virus outbreak and people are beginning to repopulate London under the watchful gaze of the US military. Naturally the plan goes to shit almost immediately and we are treated to another intense battle for survival as the zombies run rampant through the city.

The effective opening scene is a flashback featuring Don (Robert Carlyle) and a band of survivors who are holed up in a rural farmhouse. The raw intensity of the rage victims is unnerving and Don barely escapes with his life. Fast forward to 28 weeks later and Don is awaiting his children, Tammy and Andy, in the military controlled green zone in London. The infected have begun to starve and die off and the clean up operation is well underway. When the virus breaks out once again the panic and hysteria go through the roof and all hell breaks loose as the trigger happy army try to keep things under control with little success.

This time around the director is Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and with the help of a reasonably strong screenplay he creates an uncomfortable level of gritty realism. This is a serious imagining of the situation and the complex emotional problems that the characters face are dealt with intelligently although some of the character's actions are severely stupid. The film is raw and action packed with a number of genuinely scary scenes and bucket loads of gore. The direction gets a little too frenetic at times but for the most part it is very well handled and effective.

The cast is mixed, the talented Robert Carlyle really brings anti-hero Don to life and Catherine McCormack was excellent as his wife Alice. Child actors can often be irritating and Imogen Poots as Tammy and Mackintosh Muggleton as Andy are no exception to that rule. I was even less impressed with Jeremy Renner who played Sgt. Doyle and Rose Byrne who played Major Scarlett but that's probably more to do with their characters than their performances.

The film looks expensive despite a relatively low budget by Hollywood standards and some of the action sequences towards the end are quite spectacular though there´s nothing to beat that visceral opening scene. In terms of plot the film loses its way a little towards the end and the satirical poke at the US army's occupation doesn't really work for me.

There really isn't much in the way of originality here and the twists in the plot feel randomly inserted but if you enjoy gruelling zombie survival movies then you won't find many as good as this. Not as affecting or imaginative as the original but still an enjoyable action packed gore fest and a pretty decent film by sequel standards.

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