Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

28 Weeks Later

Movie name: 28 Weeks Later
Year of release: 2007
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Stars: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Catherine McCormack, Harold Perrineau, Idris Elba, Imogen Poots, Mackintosh Muggleton
Genre: Horro/Sci-Fi/Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

28 Weeks Later picks up the action where the original film left off. The virus has been contained, and London starts to get repopulated, with the assistance of American soldiers. As always something goes wrong, and the killing spree begins again. This is a smartly written and directed sequel to the innovative Danny Boyle’s film, 28 Days Later.

When 28 Days Later came out in 2002, Danny Boyle and his team were trying to put behind them the flop that was “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. 28 Days Later was their vision of a bleak London/UK plagued by a virus that transformed people into ravaging zombies. Made with a tight budget and using digital video, the film was a hit and introduced Cillian Murphy and Naomi Harris to a wider audience.
The sequel was inevitable, since the success of the first film, however Danny Boyle does not return in the director’s chair (since he directed “Sunshine” in the meantime). The director chosen this time is the Spaniard Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who made the interesting “Intacto”. The choice was a good one, because Fresnadillo manages to create a tense, intelligent film, that does not lose when compared to it’s original.
The film starts with an attack of the infected on a small cottage house, filled with a small group of survivors. Amongst them. Don and Alice, a married couple get separated, and Alice gets left behind at the mercy of the zombies, due to Don’s unwillingness to help. The story moves forward and we are introduced to the American army contingent stationed in London and in charge of getting people back in the city. Scarlet, the medical officer in charge of checking the new residents fears that the virus may come back, which is quickly dismissed by her superior, General Stone. Among the new inhabitants are Tammy and Andy, Don and Alice’s kids, who are greeted by their father upon their arrival. Hoping to visit their former house the duo find out that their mother has survived the attacks and has been hiding there. She is a carrier of the virus but she hasn’t been consumed by it, due to a genetic abnormality. When Don tries to get in contact with her, he’s infected and the rampage starts again.
28 Days Later left off with the three survivors living in a remote cottage, far away from the big cities, and that’s precisely where we find new survivors in the beginning of its’ sequel. The city os London is once again apparently deserted, but it has new visitors – the American army, that is supervising the introduction/repopulation of the city. When the new outbreak occurs, they simply opt to decimate the entire population that was placed within the city.
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo creates with 28 Weeks Later a tense and gripping horror film that is also an analogy for what is currently happening with the war in Iraq. It provides the thrills and gore usually associated with a zombie film (and there are plenty of scenes to make the viewer squirm and jump), but there is an underlying sense of pertinence and accuracy to what our everyday reality currently is and the way War happens. This mix of horror and political allegory end up making the film truly remarkable, unlike instant disposable horror films that just keep repeating cliché upon cliché (the recent The Messengers immediately pops up to mind). The cast is also uniformly good, with Robert Carlyle doing a good weak man (he can do no wrong, from “Priest”, “Trainspotting” to “The Full Monty”), Rose Byrne as the doctor desperate to save the young ones (she was one of the revelations of “Troy”), Catherine McCormack (from “Braveheart” and “Spy Game”) and Jeremy Renner (from “North Country”). The young actors, who end up carrying the center core of the film – they are the key to the spreading of the virus, but also the possible cure – are excellently well cast – both Imogen Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton do a great job, without carrying the cutesy factor which sometimes damages a performance and the tone of the film.
All and all, 28 Weeks Later is a really good horror film that continues the legacy of 28 Days Later and in some ways develops the content of what it’s predecessor laid out. Definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007