I was told that 28 Days Later brought something new and interesting to the horror/zombie genre and that 28 Weeks Later was a worthy follow up. So I threw both on my Netflix queue and thought I would wait until I had seen both in order to review them as a continuing story. Now, however, I am sad that I did that. Where 28 Days Later did everything right, 28 Weeks Later just could do no right. Now I feel bad for Days. It deserves its own review and to not be sullied by Weeks.
Let’s compare and contrast the two. First up, story:
28 Days Later shows England four weeks after it has been devastated by the Rage Virus. Animal rights activists broke into a testing facility to release the monkeys within. Instead, this makes them the first victims of the Rage Virus that was being tested on said monkeys. The virus quickly spreads and pretty much wipes out all human life on the island. A few survivors band together and try to find safety, other survivors and a cure.
28 Weeks Later happens after all traces of the Rage Virus seem to have been wiped from England due to the infected starving to death after everyone is infected. England has started to be repopulated. A survivor is then found who seems to have been infected but has not transformed into a rage filled zombie. Her husband kisses her and is instantly infected with the virus, thus spreading it all over again. This then turns into an army vs. zombie hoard movie with a few survivors trying to not get caught in the middle. The twist is that two of the survivors are children of the woman who seemed to be immune, so there is a chance that their blood could be the key to a cure to the Rage Virus.
Next, the characters:
28 Days Later followed Jim (Cillian Murphy), Selena (Naomi Harris), Hannah (Megan Burns) and Frank (Brendan Gleeson) as they try and make it to an uninfected area. They are all innocents who had this happen to them. They are trying to survive in a world that has instantly turned into a hellscape filled with pissed off zombies trying to eat their flesh. You follow them throughout the whole movie and are given a chance to really get to know them and invest in them.
28 Weeks Later’s main characters are Tammy (Imogen Poots), Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton), Doyle (Jeremy Renner), and Scarlet (Rose Byrne). This is the main place where I feel Weeks went wrong. The two main characters are Tammy and Andy. They are the children of the woman who is immune. They start off by breaking the rules and leave the safe zone in order to go find something to remember their mother by. Instead, they find their infected mother and get her brought back. They basically restarted the zombie plague that then kills everyone on the island, but for some reason I am supposed to be concerned about them living. I was not. On top of that, Tammy is a whiny little bitch the whole movie, even though everyone around her is giving up their lives to save her. I was not bought in at all.
What about scares:
28 Days Later scared the living crap out of me. These people that I was totally invested in had to journey through an apocalypse. At every turn they could have been killed, and many people that they met throughout are killed. I don’t want to ruin the movie, but not even all four of them make it through to the end. There was real suspense. They were real characters. I was really freaked out. Every time they were attacked, I stopped breathing not knowing if they were going to make it.
28 Weeks Later didn’t give you enough time with any of the characters to even care if they died. The two characters that you were supposed to care about were not developed at all beyond bitching throughout the movie. Any time when there were zombies attacking it was a massive action piece with a screen filled with zombies. You couldn’t even focus on one zombie long enough to get scared by it. No buy in equals no scares.
In the end, I think my recommendation should be pretty obvious by now. Watch 28 Days Later. Pretend 28 Weeks Later does not exist. I have not even gotten into the twist that 28 Days later throws at you that really makes you want to talk to others about it afterwards. It was a superb film, and now I am really sad that I screwed it by talking about 28 Weeks Later. Sorry.
What did you think of 28 Days Later? What did you think of 28 Weeks Later? Let me know in the comments below.