Almost 208 weeks later, Fox is hoping that you’re willing to return for 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to 28 Days Later. So is this 24 weeks after the previous four weeks making it 28 Weeks total? Or is it actually 32 weeks after the original first day? Confused? Don’t be. Fox is hoping for two shambling hordes next week. The one on the screen and the one going into theatres.
And why shouldn't they hope? The first film managed not only to make big cash off of a very inexpensive film, but used its low budget in a way that perfectly evoked the zeitgeist of the original Night of the Living Dead. Cheap, gritty and focused more upon the drama than special effects and body count (although it certainly had plenty of both), it proved to be one of the most successful catalysts of the modern zombie explosion.
But the best part of it was that someone considered to be a serious filmmaker, Danny Boyle, helmed the film and gave it all the heart and soul that you’d expect from a more mainstream film, but delivered it in the way a good genre movie should. And as Dawn of the Dead was to Night of the Living Dead, 28 Weeks Later appears to be bigger, slicker and maybe even better than before. It comes with all the bells and whistles that the first lacked. But remember, the original bells and whistles worked just fine for the first one.
Of course, the big question is that while summer audiences are ready to buy into superhero and pirate sequels, is a horror sequel penciled into their movie viewing dance card? And can it succeed sandwiched in the week between two MEGAHITS (Spider-Man 3 and Pirates)? Fox Atomic has already put out one poorly received horror sequel this year, The Hills Have Eyes 2. Is our thirst for horror finally becoming quenched, or was that just a fluke?
While I personally wouldn’t bet against it, I honestly believe that this is going to be one of those films that lives and dies with the reviews. With everyone talking about Spider-Man the week following its release, people are going to have a tough decision to make. Do you see the film everyone is talking about, or the one no one's seen yet? That’s where the sway of reviews tends to make its biggest mark, and with Pirates close behind, the buzz is going to be important in insuring a solid second week. No, it’s probably not going to be number one, even on its opening weekend, but it has a great chance of being a very solid number two. And being number two behind movies with billion-dollar ambitions (and capabilities) isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
C. Robert Cargill - - - Email Me
Austin-based Cargill, who not only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies and DVD five times a week.