Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
28 Weeks Later shouldn't have been a great movie, at least not by the laws of genre movie sequels. For one, its predecessor, Danny Boyle's masterful 2002 hit 28 Days Later…, won over critics worldwide on its way to ranking as one of the best zombie movies ever made. Thus, a follow-up, on the surface, seemed like a frustrating cash grab—if not for the fact that Boyle and his original screenwriter Alex Garland were on hand as producers.
Knowing a thing or two about filmmaking, Boyle and Garland hired director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to helm 28 Weeks Later, loving what they'd seen in the Spaniard's 2001 thriller Intacto. Imagine horror fans' overwhelming surprise once they'd seen 28 Weeks Later and realized that Fresnadillo had absolutely crushed it. In fact, believe it or not, he actually managed to one-up Boyle's film in certain aspects, namely the breathtaking violence.
Showing the hell on Earth that's erupted after the first film's harrowing events, 28 Weeks Later matches two kids with a couple of Army specialists (Jeremy Renner and Rose Byrne), all of whom hope to exit London before the entire city is eradicated as a way to quell the outbreak of infection. On their way to a variety of cruel fates, the protagonists take part in an escalating series of show-stopping set-pieces, including the spreading of the disease within a dark, locked parking garage and the decimation of multiple ghouls by a helicopter's spinning blades.
If only all sequels to surprise genre smashes were this good. Yes, we're looking at you, makers of Taken 2.