Why is the future so gloomy in Britain?

I see that 28 Weeks Later is arriving in US theaters on May 11, which fits with a trend that may exist only in my mind. Why do these movies with dystopian visions of the future always seem to take place in Britain? There must be futuristic US movies like this too, but this will make three prominent ones in the last three years, coming after V for Vendetta and Children of Men. Are the British just melancholy and pessimistic about the future? Is Britain’s landlocked geography an easier setting in which to tell this kind of story? Are European filmmakers more willing to tackle the serious political issues that come along with this kind of a film? Or am I crazy?

28 weeks later poster

I found 28 Days Later decent, though heavy-handed in parts. For example, the scene where the soldiers showed that they were keeping the infected black guy out in the yard on a chain — what could the message about race relations have been there? This time around, from what I read, the movie will focus on US army efforts to repopulate Britain that go awry. That should obviously afford a chance to make a statement about US military actions abroad, and I hope there’s some more subtlety in the sequel (it’s from the same producers but a different director). Here’s the trailer.


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