Zombies have always been one of my biggest fears. I feel like it’s such a possible reality for humans in this day and age. Especially given how advanced our science is. I think it’s totally believable to think that our government could be doing experiments to make an undead army. Or even to try to make people come back to life, and have it go wrong. That’s why my pick for my favorite movie is a zombie movie: 28 Weeks Later. The horror that I feel watching is the whole reason I love the horror genre in the first place.
Back in college, I took a horror film class as one of my extracurriculars and it turned out to be one of my favorite classes. My professor introduced us to many movies that I didn’t even know existed. It gave me the chance to knock some off of my “To Watch” list. When we had gotten onto the subject of zombies, we watched Night of the Living Dead, Return of the Living Dead 2, and 28 Days Later.
After watching 28 Days Later, my professor let us know that there was a sequel called 28 Weeks Later. I set out to watch it right after the class ended. I ran to my dorm and rented it through Amazon, and I fell in love with it. The story captivated me, and I felt like it was different from many other zombie movies – including World War Z. It seemed to me to be the most realistic and closest to what would happen in real life and therefore sent chills down my spine. That’s exactly what I look for in a good horror movie. It also didn’t rely on jump scares to bring the fear. It more relied on the fear of what was going to happen to humanity if certain characters didn’t live.
In 28 Weeks Later, we follow the world that has fallen into a zombie apocalypse. It takes place 28 weeks after the initial outbreak (get it?). At this point, we see a place in Britain that has become completely quarantined from the infected. Survivors are living as normally as they can. Buying groceries. Doing other mundane activities the outbreak had put a stop to. We also see the military around the area making sure that people are safe while casually joking around, believing that the worst of the pandemic was over.
Alas, two children venture beyond the secured area to find a photo of their mother, who was presumed to be dead. These children actually find their mother alive in their family home. After taking her back to the quarantine area, they find that she carries the virus, but had not turned into a zombie, which makes the military doctor wonder if her immunity is the key to a cure.
Unfortunately, the mother accidentally infects the father through saliva with a kiss. An outbreak starts in the safe area, causing all the hard work that humanity had done to turn into nothing once more. The military doctor attempts to save the children, believing that they could possibly be helpful in making an antidote to the virus. But, the military has already started ‘Code: Red’. The plan is basically to kill everyone in sight. The only ones meant to survive in the plan are the military personnel themselves.
I totally believe that this would happen: that there would be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and then something like a little mistake takes it all away. I also think that ‘Code: Red’ would absolutely be the plan if a zombie apocalypse were to happen. It elevates the horror for me.
One of my favorite things about the movie is how it was shot. There are many instances during zombie chase scenes where there is a shaky shot, also known as a handheld shot. It makes the scenes feel more intense. The entire time, you’re on the edge of your seat. You can’t help but wonder if a zombie will take out one of the characters you now feel emotionally connected to. It gives perspective to the fear that’s in the characters running for their lives.
Zombie movies and shows always make the viewer feel connected to the characters. You want them to survive this awful thing that they have been living through. In these zombie instances, there are also feelings of lost hope in the characters, which makes one feel more emotionally attached to the story, to want the underdogs to get through this great tragedy that has happened to humanity. Especially in the instance of 28 Weeks Later because the children are believed to be a cure – a hope for humanity not to die out.
Luckily, Danny Boyle, the British director of 28 Days Later, has recently teased the third installment of the series stating that the same writer, Alex Garland, has completed the script for 28 Months Later. I must say I am ecstatic to hear that another movie may be in the works.
In the end, 28 Weeks Later is my favorite movie, and I will probably have nightmares about it tonight. But that’s okay. It was worth the re-watch.