As swift and ferocious as its virus-infected undead cannibals, 28 Weeks Later – the follow-up to Danny Boyle’s gritty 2002 zombies-in-London hit – confirms that a Fox Atomic-produced horror sequel need not be technically clumsy, stupid, crass and fright-free. Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto), the film picks up its predecessor’s story twenty-eight weeks after the outbreak, finding all of London seemingly free of zombies (who’ve starved) and one portion of it, dubbed the Green Zone, transformed into a safe haven under strict U.S.-NATO military control. Security, however, is a fleeting concept in 28 Weeks Later, which subscribes to a take-no-prisoners ethos in which every character, no matter how sympathetic or apparently integral to the plot, is a potential fatality. As did Boyle, Fresnadillo employs shaky DV camerawork to unsettling effect, especially in a bravura opening sequence in which a husband and father (Robert Carlyle) saves himself and leaves his wife to perish during a zombie ambush. The disconcertingly hazy image quality proves a suitable aesthetic both for a constantly volatile narrative (focused on a besieged family unit), as well as a specific centerpiece sequence in which the military – attempting to deal with the virus’ reemergence, but unable to discern the zombies from the healthy humans – implements a kill-them-all policy. That frenzied zombie attacks are routinely shot in borderline-incoherent close-up somewhat detracts from the terror of said incidents (which are incessantly layered with crashing guitars), and pale in comparison to the hauntingly calm eye-of-the-maelstrom moments involving American snipers and Carlyle’s two (frustratingly underwritten) kids. In its portrait of an occupying U.S. military force that’s not only incapable of safekeeping, but actually a threat to innocents, 28 Weeks Later proves a damning allegory for America’s deteriorating handle on the situation in Iraq. Yet if such parallels are to be drawn, then equally chilling is the film’s complementary depiction of radical Islam as a rampaging virus that no amount of military or diplomatic might can properly contain.