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Sunday, May 13, 2007

28 Weeks Later - review

28 Weeks Later (18)
Dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Caution: there might be some out there who will not enjoy 28 Weeks Later…
They are people who do not want to experience gut wrenching, nerve shredding action / horror that rips up the mantra that sequels are never as good as the original…
28 Weeks Later is a direct continuation of the events set in motion by the cracking Brit zombie reinvention ‘28 Days Later’ from 2002. The good news is that this is bigger, better and more compulsive viewing in just about every way. Just when it looks like the worst is over, the Rage virus rears its vicious, blood drooling, flesh craving head again in Britain. New hero Don (Robert Carlyle) and his wife (Catherine McCormack) are holed up in a remote farmhouse, trying to lay low whilst the rest of the country tears each others brains out. But it seems that nobody is safe and before you can say ‘look out for those ravenous demented zombies’ even the newly repopulated area of London which is now under martial control by our dear US Military chums finds itself torn apart as hell breaks loose… again...
Juan ‘Intacto’ Carlos Fresnadillo picks up the directorial reigns from Danny Boyle and he brings all of his Spanish flair that made Intacto such a classic to this nitrous-fuelled rollercoaster of a horror that will tear your soul apart.
Carlyle does the business – capturing a wonderful level of pathos as the husband tormented by his cowardice and his central character is a worthy follow up to Cillian Murphy’s in the original. Undisputed star this time though is newcomer Imogen Poots – who despite her amusing name manages to be absolutely captivating in her role as Don’s daughter. Male cinema goers (including mate John who I saw this with) are liable to immediately loose their hearts to this hot upcoming actress who turns 18 this year.
28 Weeks Later contains scenes that will make you choke on your popcorn in sheer excitement mixed with nervous tension. The stand out scene has to be the best ever ‘escape from a horde of zombies through gratuitous use of helicopter’ – this is an eighteen rated film for very good reason.
I won’t bore you with some plot mapping against the War on Terror analogy – this is a horror action sequel in the same vein as Aliens and yes I know that’s high praise but 28 Weeks Later really delivers.
No review would be adequate without bigging up the unforgettable, sweat inducing musical score by John Murphy which cunningly remixes the anthem from ‘28 Days Later’ and builds it into a pitch perfect companion to the on screen action.
Fresnadillo is a red eyed, sharp toothed major talent to watch and he should be applauded for creating easily the best horror film of 2007 so far.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action öööö – heavy duty gore soaked and hugely enjoyable
Laughs öö – there are some amusing scenes
Horror öööö – strong horror in places and general dread throughout
Babes öööö – Poots is gorgeous and has potential to be the next 'big Brit thing'

Overall öööö1/2 (a must see for fans of extreme horror action)

"... as she was in V for Vendetta"

"Imogen Poots stars - Keira Knightley watch your back - a new hot brit talent has arrived"

"Our US 'chums' decide to napalm bomb most of London including the tube network - the only way to be sure I guess"

"Love this poster too - this film is cult classic already!"

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