Contracted is one film that I can, without a doubt, say has not attracted nearly enough attention from the general public. This film, written and directed by Eric England, was released in 2013 and was originally viewed at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival on July 7; it was later released in theaters and on demand. I discovered this film while searching through the horror movies on Netflix for inspiration for this very blog.
Now if you’re anything like me, you probably think that the zombie genre has been completely overplayed within the last few years with popular film and television such as The Walking Dead and World War Z, bringing the genre more into the mainstream than it ever has been before. I find it hard not to roll my eyes when there is a new zombie film announced. Let’s be real with each other; there are only so many ways that you can re-wear the same old hat before it gets stale and unimpressive.
Contracted was a pleasant surprise for me.
I seem to be in disagreement with a large number of other critics out there (link to Rotten Tomatoes //www.rottentomatoes.com/m/contracted/) in my opinions on this film, and if you are can stomach the gruesome transformation our poor main character takes from ordinary girl to flesh-eating zombie then you may have to simply watch it and make the decision for yourself.
Not unlike the last movie I reviewed for you all, Hellions ( https://goryrodden.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/hellions-aka-children/ ), this film starts off with an ill-advised sexual experience for our main character Samantha (Najarra Townsend) with a stranger after a fight with her girlfriend. Unfortunately, a night without a condom leads to something far worse than the STD’s we learned about while blushing through our high school health classes. When Samantha wakes up the next day, she has dark, spidering veins that often are associated with some sort of blood infection spreading across her skin, and it only gets worse from there, my friends.
This movie is a far cry different from most zombie flicks as it follows the three days leading up to what causes the massive out-break that is mapped out in the sequel Contracted: Phase 2 (review to come). We still don’t know who our “patient zero” is, but we see the devastating transformation of this girl as she spirals mentally, emotionally and physically into the “life” of a zombie.
As much as I enjoyed this movie, I will say that it is not a film for those of you out there who like only fast-paced, action-packed films that are a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish. The pacing is what makes this movie for me. England knew exactly where and when to put things in the timeline of this movie to pack the most punch. We weren’t forced to accept that this girl had unprotected sex, contracted a zombie STD, and within the week was a flesh-eating monster all within the first ten minutes of the film.
It was not an A-to-Z type of jump.
There was plot.
It was well-developed, which is something that I think has been severely lacking in the horror genre over the last couple of decades.
If you are a zombie fan who has the patience for well-thought-out, well-written plots, then this movie is absolutely worth every bit of your time.
What do you think? Are zombie movies old-hat? Are horror movies losing their use of plot and relying on mindless gore and violence? What do you think about the unique nature of how the disease is spread in this film?
Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/contracted/
Contracted Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chqtOlOEdsY
Contracted IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2281159/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Contracted Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contracted_(film)