Thursday, August 12, 2010

Carriers: Like A Zombie Movie, but With Sick People


Article first published as'>Movie Review: Carriers - Like A Zombie Movie, But With Sick People on Blogcritics.

In 2009, brothers Álex and David Pastor released a horror thriller film named Carriers. It follows the exploits of two brothers and their girlfriends as they navigate a wasteland of America. A deadly virus has swept the globe, killing nearly everyone. The survivors have learned to distrust virtually everyone they encounter, trying to avoid infection at any cost.

I've found that it's very difficult to do a post-apocalyptic movie well. The Pastors pull it off pretty well, though. They utilize a lot of desert scenery, and it features a very sparse cast. Chris Pine (Star Trek) and Lou Taylor Pucci (The Chumscrubber) are brothers Brian and Danny Green. Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly) is Bobby, Brian's girlfriend. Emily VanCamp (The Ring Two) is Danny's friend Kate. Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) has a cameo as Frank, a father whose daughter is infected, and runs across Danny, Brian and the girls.

This film is like most Zombie movies, in that the survivors are eking out a simple and stressful existence in the ruined world, avoiding others, locking their doors, and protecting themselves from infection. In a nod to the youth and gallows humor of these people, they often decorate their masks with faces, designs, teeth, etc. They also run across an abandoned hotel and golf course, and there's a great montage of them golfing, driving around in golf carts, drinking, and playing in sand traps. Their reverie is cut short by their discovery of the pool, which is deeply infected with a dead body.

They run across a few survivors, but they're all openly hostile to our main characters. Plot-wise, Carriers is a little bit thin. Essentially, Brian and Danny want to go back to some beach they remembered from their childhood. The girls are basically along for the ride. Much of the story focuses on Brian and Danny and their relationship; as brothers, they share a unique dynamic in how they deal with conflict. Brian is the de facto leader, but when things start falling apart, and people in their group start getting infected, he may not be quite capable of handling things.

Overall, Carriers is an entertaining but somewhat predictable horror film. It does have some genuine chills, especially when they encounter a deranged scientist experimenting on children to find a "cure." The cliché'd message about family and the journey being more than the destination gets a little hackneyed, but overall, it's enjoyable for its genre.

I give it two demon-masked twenty-somethings poking at dead bodies in pools with sticks out of five, or two predictable but entertaining endings out of five.

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