Hope sprang eternal at the conclusion of the 2005 horror film, “28 Days Later.” Unfortunately, those happy feelings quickly disappear in the inspirationally challenged sequel, “28 Weeks Later.”
Wasting no time, the story picks up in a remote cottage where a small group of survivors are hiding out. Over dinner, the small party is interrupted by a frantic knock on the door. With suspicious glances, they discover a small boy running from “the infected.” Although it was the right thing to do (rescuing the boy), it also alerted our fiendish friends of the whereabouts of everyone, and faster than you can say “run for your lives,” the ghoulish horde swarm the cottage. Not your garden variety slow fiends, these zombies sprint hungrily after their prey. In an outrageous cowardly display, only Don (Robert Carlyle) escapes, leaving his poor wife to be devoured by the zombies.
Twenty-eight weeks after the last of the infected have died, residents return to repopulate London. In this group are Don’s two young children. Living in closely guarded quarters with a small group of returning residents, the reunited family tries to move forward, minus the mother they believe is dead. Forbidden to go back to their home, the two kids sneak away to retrieve some items and find a huge surprise – the supposedly dead mother. Found to have a special immunity to the virus, her blood holds the key to curing the deadly epidemic for good.
Overall, this film is an absolute money-grab, lacking all of the charm, suspense and intelligence of the first film. After an initial horrifying 15 minutes, the film never regains that pace and relies too heavily on the terrifying foundation joyously presented in the first film. The bigger crime is wasting the talents of two prominent actors of former HBO shows, Idris Elba (“The Wire”) and Harold Perrineau (“Oz”), relegating both to several scenes with little or no explanation.
Culturally, there remain major differences regarding logic in horror films. Too many times White characters react in ways that frustrate Black audiences. This continued lack of insight and the inability to use basic common sense make watching “28 Weeks Later” a study in frustration. If this represents the best effort that the filmmakers can muster, the audience should say “later,” and run like zombies from this film before you become infected with its stupidity.