Movie Review
28 Weeks Later...
28 Weeks Later poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published May 14, 2007
US Release: May 11, 2007

Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Starring: Jeremy Renner , Rose Byrne , Robert Carlyle

R strong violence and gore, language and some sexuality/nudity
Running Time: 113 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $28,637,507
6 of 150
Story wise, [it] doesn't quite live up to the first; but as a sequel, it is still refreshing for it not to be a big letdown.
Imagine my surprise when this film delivered exactly what I didn't expect. I'm usually not a fan of zombie films with mass carnage; I prefer suspense over gore, though can appreciate gore when it's not handled with silly intent. 28 Weeks Later, though slightly weaker than its original, applies suspense and gore in an unflinching cult fashion (meaning, not everyone's going to like it). Though almost none of the cast members from 28 Days Later return, there are some returning graces; the cinematography is gritty, and the soundtrack from part one shows up again nicely, well-timed. The acting is also good, and the directing is strong. Story wise, 28 Weeks Later doesn't quite live up to the first; but as a sequel, it is still a refreshing experience for it not to be a big letdown.

Some will be quick to point out the film's pointlessness, or will take issue to the edgy tone, which may not work for many. I thought the Dawn of the Dead remake was too over the top, and 28 Weeks Later plays things rather quietly, like part one, with a deft hand. I was quickly surprised by the film's dark and uneasy vibe. The premise stays rather simple, which is a relief. Part of the joy of 28 Days Later was that it took a simple yet frightening concept and didn't layer on unnecessary subplots. It moved slowly, but methodically ? the characters reacted as most normal people would to the crisis in being abandoned.

28 Weeks Later is an edgier film about zombies going wild, while Dawn of the Dead was more for sheer entertainment. There is a huge contrast between these two flicks in their agenda, and the differences will set people apart based on one's personal sensibility. I liked a lot of what director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo did with the moody tone throughout; and though there are moments when he borrows heavily from certain genre classics (Silence of the Lambs and The Blair Witch Project), they still worked on me. The use of silence, darkness, and the sense of the unknown drive scenes where they need to be.

The film ends on a nod to the likely-entitled sequel, 28 Months Later. I felt the film would've ended better without the last suggestive sequence, considering it plays a little too cute for a film that is really far from being cute. If you're looking for a zombie flick with carnage, 28 Weeks Later probably won't deliver; if suspense and edge is what you're in for, this is a pretty deserving sequel.
Lee's Grade: B-
Ranked #6 of 150 between Knocked Up (#5) and Charlie Wilson's War (#7) for 2007 movies.
Lee's Overall Grading: 3025 graded movies
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'28 Weeks Later' Articles
  • Weekend Outlook: '28 Weeks Later'
    May 10, 2007    Horror fans could give this sequel a chance even if they haven?t seen the original. Even with little star-power, it could be an offbeat alternative since zombie flicks are usually a fun time for many. -- Lee Tistaert