28 Weeks Later (2007)

Rated R. Our ratings: V- 1; L- 3; S/N-4 . Running time: 1 hour 31 min.

My heart is in anguish within me,
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
Psalm 55:4-5

28 Weeks Later

If you saw 28 Days Later, the film set in England about a “rage virus” that quickly changed the infected to cannibalistic zombies, you have only an inkling of the adrenalin-pumping experience in store for those who watch this sci-fi horror film. Be warned, with so much blood and gore, this film is not for everyone.. In a prologue the rest of the film is set up. Don (Robert Carlyle) and Alice (Catherine McCormack) are hiding with a group when the zombies roaming the countryside discover and attack them. Don manages to get away, but when he looks back he sees his wife framed by the window with the zombies attacking her.

Later, Don is serving as a security advisor to the US Army that is helping to resettle London, now that the last zombie has been reported dead, and thus it is thought safe for uninfected people to return, at least to the section of the city known as The Green Zone. (Sound familiar? Like many a sci-fi story, this one involves some social criticism.) Don is re-united with his children Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) and Tammy (Imogen Poots, but they do not live happily ever after. The rambunctious children stray into the forbidden zone, where they discover that there are still some infecteds alive, including their mom. The latter definitely has a bone to pick with the husband who abandoned her.

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If the first film dealt with the building up of a community of people trying to survive against the threat of the zombies, this one is about the break down of community, with even the US Army becoming a threat to our small band. Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s vision is far darker than that of Danny Boyle’s, who directed the first film. They do not make them much grimmer than this sequel!

For Reflection/Discussion

1) What do you like/dislike about horror films? What world view do you think underlies most of them? That the world is not the safe, pleasant place we think it is?

2) How do some horror films at least suggest that there is hope? What about this one?

3) What strict moral code do you often find in a horror film? A Puritanical one in that the least worthy are the first to die (see most teenage slasher films)? How does Don pay for the abandonment of his wife? What about the fate of the “good” people in this film—such as Scarlet (Rose Byrne), a medical officer; Doyle (Jeremy Renner), the sniper who disobeys his orders; and Flynn (Harold Perrineau), the chopper pilot who often glances at the picture of his children taped in the cockpit?