With Don’s children protected by surrogate parent figures from the military, the group must run a gauntlet through infected areas of Great Britain, outwitting the increasing number of infected citizens while avoiding indiscriminate attacks from the military, which must contain the outbreak. Their hope of salvation lies with a helicopter pilot, known as a loyal family man, who has his own trust issues to overcome if he’s to help the group flee to safety.

The infection of 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, like the malevolent forces and personalities of so many other horror films, does not discriminate. But by giving us a compromised father figure who pays for the abandonment of his wife in her time of greatest need, then subsequently lies about it to his children and is found out, 28 Weeks Later suggests that some form of justice is inescapable. The Old Testament reminds us, “Behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Although God is not part of the characters’ consciousness in 28 Weeks Later, the unusual picture of a broken family trying to reconcile makes this terrifying film much more than just the latest cinematic scare-fest. It wants us to recognize how families are threatened by outside forces, as well as by personal betrayals. The film also shows how the military’s good intentions can be compromised during times of heightened alert and panic.

The film, which begins with a furious attack set to deafening heavy-metal music, soon settles into a severe, somber tone that resists the simplistic jolts and bloodletting that might encourage whoops and hollers from audience members looking for generic thrills. Its broken-family tragedy and lack of jingoistic militarism make 28 Weeks Later a more cerebral experience than the typical summer sequel.

AUDIENCE: Adults

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: Lord’s name taken in vain; multiple profanities
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Drinking of wine.
  • Sex/Nudity: A sex act is witnessed by a soldier looking into the bedroom windows of an apartment building; some kissing; a joke about another man’s wife; a woman in a shower
  • Violence: Extreme, with zombie rampaging and attacks; mass shootings; a woman who peels her face off; a decomposed corpse; a needle that punctures a character’s arm; bloody carnage; an air strike that incinerates numerous people