Newest Review: ... it to be blood-curdling and no emotional content whatsoever. I must admit, I'm surprised with its cinematic value and drama. Tears threa... more
Zombieland without the laughs, or the zombies.
Member Name: FairyG
Advantages: A fairly serious look at what could happen.
Disadvantages: Chris Pines' character is very annoying... but he's supposed to be.
The brothers have created a set of rules to live by in order to avoid contagion, which involves staying off the main highway, and not getting involved with anyone infected. They have a saying that anyone with the infection is already dead anyway. But as they travel they find that's not so easy to live by. The friends begin to have conflicting opinions about what's right and wrong, and what's necessary to do to stay alive.
Chris Pine as Brian is the oldest brother and the dominant character in charge of the group. Pine seems to have established himself as a reckless character as the youthful Captain Kirk in Star Trek, and he takes on a similar role here. He's hard drinking, loud, highly sexed, full of himself and prone to getting into fights. However, that's where the similarity ends. Kirk was, in spite of his faults, a likeable and heroic character with a clearly defined sense morality. Brian, however, has a much darker side. He isn't remotely likeable, although, as the film goes on and we learn more about him, his behavior becomes more understandable. What starts off as an arrogant, two dimensional character begins to develop more depth.
Lou Taylor Pucci is more likeable as Danny, the younger of the brothers. He's more sensitive and with a stronger sense of right and wrong, although lacking in confidence when it comes to standing up to his brother. However, although he seems a nice guy, he's also frustrating, as it doesn't seem likely he would survive long on his own.
Piper Perabo as Bobby is almost as loud and brash and highly sexed as her boyfriend Brian. The two seem to be well suited, and equally emotionally volatile. However, although they are alike in some ways, Bobby has a soft feminine side which makes her vulnerable.
Emily VanCamp as Kate is more remote and hard to understand at first. She seems to come from a middle class, well educated family and the others don't know her very well. She seems mousy, and like Danny, doesn't seem tough enough to survive long, but suddenly starts to spring to life during a game of golf and we begin to see what she's really made of.
There's been some effort to create characters with some depth, that we can get to know more and more as the film progresses. The interplay of the different characters is interesting, making you wonder what you would do in their situation. How ruthless could you be to survive? It's a bleak film, extremely sad in places. This is not about America (and presumably the world) in the throes of a deadly pandemic, but in the immediate aftermath, where the few survivors struggle to stay alive, mistrustful of everyone they meet. Strangely it was reminiscent of the darkly humorous Zombieland, which also dealt with the aftermath of a deadly virus and had four friends travelling in a car together looking for some long remembered perfect place to live in safety. It seems to indicate a swing in film trends away from telling the story of the catastrophic event itself (as in 2012), towards examining the aftermath, something that worked very well in 28 Days Later. Like 28 Days Later, Carriers is a low budget film that relies more on story and characters than special effects. It works well enough to be entertaining, although isn't really as strong or big on shocks as 28 Days Later. However, it is a film that lingers in the mind for a while afterwards, as it shows how horrific circumstances can change a person and their beliefs, and that not everyone is what they seem.
For a low budget horror, it's worth a watch, although it's not really horror, more of a drama. The acting is competent and the characters are a bit more fleshed out than usual for the genre, although there's no-one in it that shines out quite like Cillian Murphy (at the time unknown) in 28 Days Later. It's a film that illustrates the dark side of the soul, and as such it makes gloomy viewing. It's worth a watch though, if you like the idea of Zombieland without the laughs, or the zombies.
Director: Alex Pastor
Running time: 84 minutes
Summary: Not bad for a low budget film.