Carriers - DVD Review

'a shot which shows the resting place of the golf balls Brian  and Danny have just hit through the windows of a hotel is endemic of the film itself; simple but with a slow burning threat that builds nicely to the pay off'

On one level, Carriers doesn't work as a horror film. At best, it's only mildly scary for a small amount of its run time and the distinct lack of gore is noticeable. On another level though, the film's low-fi approach to a post-apocalyptic world where a contagious disease threatens to wipe out the remaining population is both admirable and darkly compelling.

Its basic story is embellished and built upon brilliantly by writing and directing brothers Àlex and David Pastor who create a believable world and an interesting group of people to follow through it. Little visual touches, such as a sign at an abandoned garage that reads 'Mike is dead, meet at Dad's', complement directing choices that keep us marginally ahead of our group of survivors. A shot which shows the resting place of the golf balls Brian (Chris Pine) and Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci) have just hit through the windows of a hotel is endemic of the film itself; simple but with a slow burning threat that builds nicely to the pay off.

The saving grace of Carriers from a horror front is in its unflinching and almost constant portrayal of incredibly difficult to stomach situations. Our group of survivors come across a father and child early in proceedings. They need their car but the child has the virus and the father's almost certainly infected. What would you do? The film constantly presents you and the group with this style of choice, almost literally asking you the questions it wants to consider - in one instance a character puts the point out there that 'sometimes choosing to live is only choosing to die more painfully'. Is he right or wrong and would you be able to do what he's doing when he says that?

Carriers' only real problem is its very short length which burdens it with several subsequent miss-steps. The female members of the main foursome (Emily VanCamp and Piper Perabo) are not half as developed as their male counterparts for example, leading to a slight feeling of 'so what' every time VanCamp's character in particular appears in danger. The aforementioned segment in the golf resort too is a highlight of the piece but it's over way too quickly and feels rather like a missed opportunity.

Despite these problems, the Pastor brothers still produce a gripping little thriller, with just about enough horror elements to satisfy genre fans and a plethora of nicely staged conflicts to keep all comers involved to the open-ended and satisfying conclusion.




Look further...

'good all around, with solid, simple direction from brothers Àlex and David Pastor' - Chuck Norris Ate My Baby

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