In the middle of Cannes prep this weekend, Jarren had a take-home final so I went to see 28 Weeks Later at the Dobie. I was initially skeptical about going to see the film, but A.O. Scott’s glowing New York Times review, pushed me over the fence and into the mood to seek it out before I leave the country for two weeks. Now, I’m a massive zombie genre fan, which is often reflected in the programming at SXSW. I adored the original film, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, for its original and terrifying take on zombies running amok throughout London. I still remember seeing the original with my old college buddy (now Variety writer) Peter Debruge, at a midnight screening during the 2nd Tribeca Film Festival. It blew us away.
28 Weeks Later, on the other hand, did not blow me away. But, it was an entirely entertaining, gripping, and worthwhile sequel to the Brit-zombie classic. 28 Weeks Later is 28 times smarter than most Hollywood horror films coming to theaters these days. Perhaps because it’s not entirely Hollywood, perhaps because its director (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo) comes from an arthouse background.Whatever it is, the film had me every moment, with only the occasional downtime. It lacks some of the emotional resonance of the first film, and I’m not entirely sure the soci-political critique works the whole time, but I was entertained for 90 minutes. No doubt. Definitely recommended.