Sadly, no signs of Cillian Murphy’s dong anywhere to be found here.
After a rage-virus ravaged through all of London, the U.S military attempts to take over and try to repopulate the city. Everything goes all fine and dandy until an outsider is let in, then it’s all back to normal for post-apocalyptic London.
Being as that 28 Days Later is not only one of my favorite horror movies of all-time, but also ranks up there as one of the scariest movies I have ever seen, this sequel definitely had a lot to live-up to in terms of scaring me, what it made me think, and how it made me feel. As many people do know, horror-movie sequels don’t seem to do so well in terms of sticking close to the source material but somehow, this flick does even though it definitely feels different without Jim or Selena anywhere to be found. I hope the virus didn’t get the best of them.
Anywho, instead of having Danny Boyle return to the director’s chair for this second-go around, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo takes over and does a pretty nice job of keeping things promising in terms of mood and atmosphere. It’s pretty cool to see what actually happens when the rage-virus breaks through an already established city and how Juan Carlos keeps us awaiting for that impending doom to occur is what really kept me on-board. I must admit that this isn’t the first time I saw this flick, but it definitely surprised me with some of the scares and what Juan Carlos could do with a bunch of material that seemed to already be used before. However, instead of just trying his hardest to do a good Boyle-impersonation, Juan Carlos sticks to his guns and uses them to deliver a sense of destruction that made me still feel a little scared for my life.
Even though this film didn’t scare the pants off of me with it’s vision like the first one did, I still felt placed in a realistic, if a bit ambitious idea of the world we live in and what it would look like, especially after a catastrophic-event like a zombie break-out. Juan Carlos probably got the memo that more people wanted action, blood, guts, and gore from the first movie, and delivers on all of those accounts by giving us more, more, and more of that. It doesn’t feel needed for this type of story, but given the type of budget they’re working with here and the type of larger-scale they have to control, it feels deserved and works well rather than feeling cheap. The shaky-cam annoyed the hell out of me, but there isn’t much to see in these action moments other than zombies, people getting eaten alive, and a bunch of bullets and blood flying everywhere. So, after awhile, you get used to it and you pretty much get the gist that people and zombies are both getting off’d.
However, being the huge fan of the original that I am, I still can’t go by this flick without mentioning that this one just does not hold a candle to it, it just does not. I hate to make this “negative part of the review” all about my love for 28 Days and how it’s ten-times better than this movie, but it really is and it’s so hard to get by. The whole time I was watching the movie, I just kept uttering to myself, “Oh, Boyle did that better. See that part? Yeah, looked better with the HD-camera.” Maybe that’s a stingy-way to be with a sequel, but when something is obvious to me, hell, I’m going to point it out.
For instance, the underlining political-themes and ideas about the nature of human-beings that ran so rampant in the first-one, are barely anywhere to be found in this. The closest example I could find that connected the first-one to this one in terms of ideas, is the whole idea about how the army can be full of some sickos and I don’t think that really even counts. But for most movies, I can live without a bunch of political-themes and ideas if you give something else to grab-on to, but somehow, this film doesn’t even seem to have that either. All of the characters here really lack any type of development or real heart to them, to really have us root and care for them in the end. And even if we do root for them, it’s only because they’re human-beings and nobody wants to see their own kind get eaten alive by a bunch of rage-infected zombies. That’s the truth, Ruth.
But, when it all comes right down to it, the real-factor as to why this film pales in comparison to the original is that Juan Carlos just doesn’t have the artistic-vision like Boyle does. Boyle has such a real interest and idea for what it takes to make a beautiful scene in such an ugly and grim atmosphere, but it doesn’t really seem like Juan Carlos is all that concerned with that. That’s all fine and dandy, but it does make the picture seem a bit shallow in terms of what it’s trying to offer new and original to the already-tired zombie-genre.
There’s a couple of scenes here and there that sort of reminded me of a “Boyle-look” (that underground safe house scene scared the shit out of me), but nothing else to it. Even though Boyle produced this flick, I highly doubt the guy had a final say in what he thought was best for the final-product and it’s a real shame because this movie could have been filled with so much more brewing underneath the surface, rather than just a bunch of people running away from zombies. In a way, that’s how the zombie-genre is (people running away from zombies and whatnot), but what Boyle offered with 28 Days Later was new, and unlike anything we’ve ever really seen before, whereas this movie, brings the zombie-genre back to where it was taken away from in the first-place. I don’t want to say that I take points away from this movie for not being directed by Boyle, but it definitely goes to show you what a good director can do for your material, if he’s game for another sequel. Please Danny, do 28 Months Later, if it ever happens.
Before I go though, let me not forget to mention the performances in this movie that were all pretty good, except for the fact that some of the characters blew. Out of everybody in this whole cast, Jeremy Renner is the one who really shines as Sgt. Doyle, aka, the same role he would go on to play and get nominated for an Oscar for in The Hurt Locker. Renner just has this utter sense of coolness and warmth to his presence that it’s pretty easy to feel safe when you’re around him in the movie and his character’s motivations feel believable, even if everybody else around him feels like they just watched a Lifetime movie and felt like they wanted to give everybody a hug for no reason.
That’s what brings me around to everybody else in this film, as all of the other characters just don’t really do anything spectacular or show us anything worth really holding onto in the end. Take for instance, Robert Carlyle as Don, one of the guys who escapes a zombie-attack early on in the movie. This guy, from what we see in the beginning, is a rat-bastard who leaves his wife behind to get attacked by the zombies, but then feels sorry for what he did when she turns out to be alive. In all honesty, who the hell cares how this guy feels. There’s no real conviction to him, to the others around him, and when things start to go bad for him, I could care less and even he started to feel a bit shoe-horned in there by the end. Can’t tell you why he does, but the fact is that he does and it got on my nerves, considering Boyle would have never been all about that ish, regardless of if the character was played by Begbie. Oh, now that would have been nice. A good, ‘olde, Trainspotting-reunion in the middle of the zombie apocalypse Not only do they have to fight-off heroin addiction, but zombies as well. I can already see it now…
Consensus: 28 Weeks Later is definitely one of the better horror movie-sequels out there due to it’s grim atmosphere and mood, but still pales in comparison to what Danny Boyle was able to do with the original and the lasting-effect it’s material it had on you, in terms of horror and emotion. Please come back for one last movie, Danny, please.
The boogeyman is too old school.
The film stars Clive Owen as a father trying to save his daughter from a specter-like figure that appears to be the product of her own imagination. There is also another story that is about this kid in Spain who is having the same problems, but nobody really cares.
The new trend in Hollywood lately seems to be that in order for horror films to stay cool and hip, they need to be old school. Sometimes this works like in ‘The House of the Devil’, and other times it fails miserably like with ‘Don’t be Afraid of the Dark’. So what better way to keep horror movies even more trendy by bringing in one of the oldest horror stories of them all: the monster in the closet.
Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo definitely seemed like he owed somebody money here because he just does not deserve this. I don’t love this director either (I’ve only seen like one film from him), but for a guy that did the sequel to one of the greatest horror flicks of the past decade (’28 Weeks Later’) I have to say that he’s really falling off the map. Juan Carlos definitely does add a lot more to this flick than you would expect because his camera is used well to speed things up, like he did with ’28 Weeks Later’, and has some pretty cool imagery that is spooky but also very good to look at. He seems like he’s trying his hardest to bring some sort of atmosphere here to this flick but it’s all taken away by the script he was given.
This plot basically comes down to the children facing off against “Hollow Face” but neither side is worth cheering for. You never get any real sense that these kids are in danger because every time the boogeyman seems like he has finally succeeded in killing these little pieces of crap, they end up being safe after all and have only a scratch or two on them. Also, why the hell does this damn creature want a face so bad? To be accepted? To be loved? To keep this film going on longer and longer, until I practically fall asleep? I think yes for that last question.
The script also goes from bad to worse considering there is barely any horrific stuff happening here and after awhile, just gets boring. They even place an exorcism scene in the middle of the flick (cause what horror film doesn’t need an exorcism scene?) and it’s one of the most boring and unscary exorcism scenes I have seen in some time and mind you, I did see ‘The Devil Inside’ over two months ago. There was also no reason for this flick to even be two separate stories either considering they are so obviously focused more on the British family then anything else and could practically care less about the story in Spain. They both come together in a dumb way that is expected from these types of films, but it still ends on an awkward note that just feels so damn forced. Then again, so does everything else in this dumb film.
Oh, I almost forgot that there is probably one of the most unintentionally funny scenes here that I have seen in quite some time. First, Clive Owen’s daughter gets scared and says that she is having nightmares about this monster and can’t get to sleep. Thinking that he would be a good father, you expect him to just tell his daughter that all will be fine and dandy and she should just go back and dream a little dream of fairies, unicorns, rainbows, and all that good stuff. Instead, he makes a scarecrow monster, takes it outside to his backyard and lights the thing on fire hoping that it will cure her dread of the boogeyman. This scene was so stupid and dumb that I honestly thought that the film was just making a little light of this whole premise, but instead, they were totally serious and this was probably the high-light of the film, which isn’t really saying much good.
I don’t know what it is with Clive Owen, but the damn dude should be getting A-list roles that get him Oscars, Golden Globes, and all that other honorable shit but instead he’s been stuck doing dumb-ass flicks like ‘Killer Elite’ and this, which both take him further and further away from hitting total stardom. This guy is a good actor, and he at least tries his hardest with this role here but he needs to go back to the days of when he was scoring huge hits in-a-row with ‘Closer’, ‘Children of Men’, ‘Inside Man’, and even ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’. Dammit Clive! Just stop taking shitty movie roles and start making better ones before it’s way too late.
Consensus: Intruders is a horror flick that doesn’t do anything new or exciting with its premise, instead it is just boring, badly executed, and one of those horror flicks that you watch with a whole group of girls because they’ll get scared and hold onto you, but you never watch it again. Cause you never know if you want to remember the night with that chick anyway.