28 Days Later barely gave you a chance to breathe and its sequel knocks the wind out of you right from the start. The movie’s opening takes us back into the midst of the chaos, when a “rage virus” has transformed most of England’s population into bloodthirsty homicidal maniacs. A husband and wife (Robert Carlyle and Catherine McCormack) are holed up with a group of other survivors in a country cottage, and before the title credit even rolls we get a gruesome distillation of the zombie movie that started it all: 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that Carlyle’s Don manages to survive, though he now carries with him an almost unbearable shame and guilt. The film eventually jumps 28 weeks ahead, when an American-led NATO force has wiped out the “infected” and begun resettling a quarantined section of London. Don is there, reunited with his two children, and they begin to establish a new life which eerily resembles that of war-scarred Iraqis currently living under an American military presence. New director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo never pushes the political points; he just lets them arise naturally out of the terror. When the virus breaks out again, the quarantined area quickly devolves into a war zone, with snipers having to choose between zombies and “friendlies” in an instant. Soon the military falls back on a kill-them-all policy, forcing a handful of citizens – including Don’s kids – to flee from both the infected and the soldiers. Like the best horror movies, 28 Weeks Later is primal itself. The movie taps into fundamental fears: of having our safe lives upended; of not being able to protect our loved ones; of monsters hiding in the dark. Oh, and of sacrificing freedom in the name of security. That may not be a fundamental fear, but it’s a timely one.