28 Days Later (2002), 28 Weeks Later (2007)
Synopsis: Great Britain falls prey a violent plague-virus that turns the citizens into blood thirsty animals with insatiable appetites for violence. The sequel picks up after the American military has intervened to help restore life as normal in London, where things quickly go to hell.
Killer Scene: In 28 Days Later, Jim flees from an infected person engulfed in flames. The helicopter scene in 28 Weeks Later, where a dozen zombies are dispatched by the whirring rotor, remains memorable, though perhaps the best is opening where Don abandons his wife and flees a voracious horde, barely escaping with his life.
Violence: With vicious knife wounds, flaming infected, bites, tears, beatings, gunshots and all other sorts of ways of inflicting grievous bodily harm against living tissue, the films are good and violent, with gallons of blood spilled.
Scares: Plenty of jump scares to make you pop out of your chair, though some are a bit telegraphed. The mood is foreboding but at times fails to be terrifying, though spread through both bits are some inspired bits of tension and a few scenes that will have you biting your nails.
Final Thoughts: A lot of people give credit to Danny Boyle for re-inventing the zombie genre and while I don’t go that far, I will say the first film was an unexpected bit of good gore and zombie-like mayhem. In the midst of a high-spending spree, I recall renting this film, rather than buying the DVD, to save cash. Immediately after watching the rental, I purchased the film, thereby actually spending more than just buying it outright. Lesson learned! 28 Days Later and its inferior, though still entertaining, sequel are good bets for the Halloween season when you want to make your date jump out of her shoes and into your arms at the sight of a menacing, bloody, infected ghoul with a British accent.
What are your thoughts on the 28 ____ Later franchise?