28 Weeks Later Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

28 Weeks Later Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later was monumental for both British and horror cinema, flipping the zombie formula on its head to unleash a new beast filled with ferocious rage. Though Boyle is only an exec producer on this follow-up, Intacto’s Fresnadillo has re-envisioned the franchise and set a benchmark for sequels, proving the story can be developed further without damaging its initial impression. The opening sequence starring Robert Carlyle is arguably the most intense of either film, as Donald (Carlyle) regrettably abandons his wife and runs off once their cottage is invaded by the infected. From that point it picks up in central London six months later, with Donald reuniting with his children. The city is now stable under U.S. military lock and key — that is until Donald’s wife Alice returns with the infection in her bloodstream. Though she’s immune, all it takes is one kiss with Donald for the virus to spread and infest London with blood-spitting crazies once again. Cue the U.S. army sweeping the entire city with unprejudiced violence, eradicating everyone, and the film takes an extreme turn when the soldiers become a bigger threat to the fleeing public. Fresnadillo and screenwriter E.L. Lavigne admirably extend Boyle and Alex Garland’s tale into a more catastrophic area with a new intensity that shows an unhinged society collapsing further. Interesting choices include following the infected Donald, who violently looks to track down and contaminate his two kids, and providing a cliffhanger ending that’s justifiably ripe for another sequel. Their commentary is serious in tone, using every second they can to explain their decisions, like having Boyle shoot the early barn scenes and bringing out the iconic sides of London in order to show how it runs now in the aftermath of the epidemic. A "making of” exposes discarded ideas, like picking up on day 29 or saving the Queen, while they stress the difference between the two films, as if they felt pressure to validate this second film. Other featurettes show the training and makeup involved with the "infected” actors and the preparation that went into giving the action a realistic edge. Plus: flash-animated graphic novel. (Fox Atomic)