A British zombie film helmed by a Spanish director paid for with American cash isn't my usual bag, but it turns out it's one of the best "London films" I've ever seen.
I didn't really love Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later," so when I headed to the world premiere of the sequel, I had low-to-no expectations. However, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (whose debut Intacto is also superb) has made a stylish and relentless horror film that casts the English capital in such a depressingly apocalyptic light, I was nervous about walking out of the cinema.
As the name suggests, it's more than six months since the Rage virus took hold of Britain and decimated the population. Now, under the US Army-led peacekeeping force, the country is slowly being repopulated with refugees moving back into a heavily fortified zone in Canary Wharf, one of London's business districts. That some of the images eerily echo what's coming out of Iraq only adds to the feeling of unease.
I'm not going to go into the plot anymore, as there is plenty about it elsewhere. Suffice to say the performances are all strong, but it's the look of the film that sold it for me. The sheen Fresnadillo gives it via some smart editing and witty, inspired photography of the city lifts it from being a run-of-the-mill follow-up to an engrossing, and downright scary, film. Surprisingly.
You can see a trailer here and "28 Weeks Later" is in theaters on 11 May 2007.