When it comes to zombie movies, one franchise many would argue reignited interest in the genre would be 28 Days Later. The 2002 post-apocalyptic horror film, directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland, dropped us into the heart of a zombie infestation spreading across Britain.
It eventually spawned a graphic novel tie-in called 28 Days Later: The Aftermath, which bridged the gap to a sequel in 2007, 28 Weeks Later. However, Britain's Sky One is currently airing a zombie series called Curfew which has all the necessary elements to continue this gory journey.
28 Days Later was set in the 2000s and dealt with the outbreak of a virus from a chimpanzee lab that turned humans into rage-filled, rabid members of the undead. It ended with a group of survivors -- Jim (Cillian Murphy), Selena (Naomie Harris) and Hannah (Megan Burns) -- in the countryside trying to flag down the military. 28 Weeks Later then dealt with another group of survivors at the same time, surviving the hordes in London. It concluded with siblings Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) and Tammy (Imogen Poots) being transported to France, as their genetic makeup holds the key to immunity and an overall cure.
Now, Curfew's initial premise is that it's about a race across England in the vein of Fast and Furious, Death Race and Need for Speed, but with a zombie backdrop. But the horror/sci-fi aspect of the show really takes prominence when it comes to unearthing the secret of these zombies ravaging the country. The way the undead are roaming this British terrain and how the mystery behind the outbreak still lingers all feels very much adopted from the 28 Days universe, coming off as a threequel converted into several episodes.
In the show, there's a 24 hour curfew from 7 p.m. which is prime time for stray zombies to roam the streets and feast, which reduces crime and dissent. Interestingly, Curfew remains mysterious about the virus' origin, but we know it's spread across Europe just like the 28 Days universe. But Curfew has a totalitarian government in place that has isolated the upper class from everyone else, making it feel like a couple years have elapsed, with politicians now actively using the zombies as a form of control to push classism. That's right, these creatures are used to block the poor into their shanty towns and ghettos.
Curfew's virus could easily have come from the chimpanzee facility too, and factoring in how this new series is set in the late 2000s (the nostalgic music from the '90s is used to remind everyone of happier and zombie-free times) and that the zombies look and act exactly like the ones from 28 Days Later, you can't help but feel like this country is the one that's got back on track after 28 Weeks Later ended. We get the sense that a cure has been developed, as the race winner gets a shot at Sanctuary, where the elites live freely and like kings. In fact, the government in the present day isn't even conducting scientific studies or seeking out a cure, which leads the show's protagonists to believe one already exists and it's being hidden for those in power.
Sanctuary, in fact, feels like the haven teased in the 28 Days movies, and the fact that Curfew has a young hacker Roman (Ike Bennett) on the run from the government after uncovering secret data about the virus, it feels like he's figured out the truth. He's already hinted the government created it, so it stands the only revelation he's keeping is that they're using the virus to keep the upper class safe and thin out the population by having zombies act as guard dogs.
The dark aesthetic of the show, the profanity, the overall violence and how the military basically takes over the country are all themes we saw in Boyle's film and its sequel. Not to mention he has said in the past that there were plans for sequels such as 28 Months Later and 28 Years Later that never came to fruition. Well, Curfew definitely feels like the former, with two years seeing zombies used to curtail Europe, under a messed-up new world order.
Airing Fridays at 4 p.m. ET/PT on Sky One, Curfew stars Sean Bean, Adam Brody, Billy Zane, Michael Biehn, Ike Bennett and Miranda Richardson.