From low budget independent horror to blood-and-guts, gun-blazing action, only 28 Weeks Later. The film Danny Boyle crafted only 5 years ago just got its Hollywood make-over.
Are you ready for your close-up, zombies?

Most recently, it has been very interesting to watch the horror movie trend in Hollywood. More and more studios are trying to stick their hands in the ever-tightening horror movie money jar. Horror films have consistently been cheap and easy to make, while turning large profits. Why do you think there are so many films in the center aisle of your local Blockbuster that feature catchy covers of “scary” images that you have never heard of? Large studios do the same thing when they get ahold of a horror film. They simply inflate all of its elements and put it at every multiplex in the country instead of just the center row at your video store. The film 28 Days Later was just waiting for someone to see the dollar signs in the decaying eyes of its zombie hoards.

The equation is simple: take one established movie that performed well by horror movie standards and has been out on DVD for a while cultivating its audience. Mix it with a new studio (Fox Atomic) that’s out to tap a youth audience. Throw in gore, violence, and action that is revved up from the original and you get a fairly guaranteed recipe for success.

Don’t get me wrong, the studio has tried very hard to make this new film feel all too familiar, while throwing in more “hell yeah” moments. They tapped another independent filmmaker, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who has even been nominated for an Oscar. They put the new film in a vague context that references current political events and film it in a style reminiscent of the original. The ads even feature footage from the 1st film. All of these elements carefully place this new film under the guise of the original. It all works beautifully until our screen is filled with trailer images of airplanes flying fire bombing London. Over-the-top action, check!

The film studios are out to make a profit, so seeing them take a film that easily fits into one of their genres and give it a make-over is no surprise. It’s just disappointing to see a story that had depth be so appropriated and Hollywood’ized. Fox Atomic did the same thing most recently when they remade The Hills Have Eyes and then pumped out a much less successful sequel, The Hills Have Eyes 2. Another example would be New Line Cinema’s failed prequel for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
This weekend will either see 28 Weeks Later succeed or fail, and that will be the true test of the Hollywood machine.


Aaron Yarbrough does not have a blog, but interested readers can reach him at  

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