Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A CAUTIONARY TALE AND YET A POWERFUL AND MOVING MOVIE ABOUT RAPE, DISEASE, AND A ZOMBIE...



Contracted (2013)

I wasn't going to do another movie this weekend, but happened to come across this one, and the premise was interesting, so I decided to give it a try. This self-described horror/thriller film is about a young woman who is raped and contracts what she thinks is an STD, but is actually something much worse.

Because I think it's worth a look and I hate to completely describe a movie that someone might want to watch, I just want to warn you that there will be spoilers, so if this interests you at all, go watch it first and then come back.





Our main character is Samantha (Najarra Townsend) who does actually a terrific job in this film, considering that she practically has to carry it herself. There are supplemental characters, of course, but the main focus is on her and what happens to her after a night at a friend's party.

Our first scene is a disturbing one, but thankfully they don't show too much detail. A man is engaging in an act of necrophilia and is obviously an employee in a morgue. He also apparently is what is called an asymptomatic carrier (like Typhoid Mary), since what he spreads does not seem to affect him. Since we do not see any other females in this movie that suffer as Samantha does, apparently either they have died quickly, or she just happens to be the unlucky one who is susceptible to this disease.

Samantha has had a fight with her girlfriend, and decides to attend a friend's party to cheer herself up. Unfortunately, she gets pretty drunk in the process. A man comes in and starts talking to her, putting a drink in her hand, telling her that she had dropped it. She's drunk, so although she doesn't remember having a cup in her hand, she takes it and drinks.

The next thing she knows, she is in a car being raped. This also is a disturbing scene, however, again, they do not show too much detail. She is heard to be saying no and protesting more than a few times, though, impressing upon the audience that this is indeed not consensual.



The next morning she wakes in her own apartment. She is, of course, hung over. She finds that her menstruation has begun, and it is very heavy. She also feels rather sick. And how can she call the police? She's a recovered drug addict, she had been drunk at the party, and after being drugged she doesn't know what the guy looks like or his name.

Thinking it just a regular hangover, she goes in to her job in a restaurant. She becomes even sicker however. The bleeding is heavier, she is now passing blood, and is extremely nauseous. She realizes she needs to see a doctor. Even in this day and age of STDs and the constant education of prevention, she is still embarrassed and repressed in front of her doctor, afraid to tell him exactly how she feels, and also afraid of what he will think of her.



I believe that's pretty much what this movie is about. If the word zombie was not in this movie. I believe the word trauma would be. This woman had been raped. She needs medical attention, but is too embarrassed and that is common. She needs help from her friends and family who either downplay her problems or tell her pretty much that it's her fault. Unfortunately, this also can be common.

Samantha desperately tries to get back together with her girlfriend but it's not working. They also have a subplot (which doesn't mean anything to the movie) of Samantha trying to become a horticulturist and develop a very rare type of flower in order to enter it into a contest of some type.



Samantha is steadily getting sicker. She notices that one eye has gone red, and believes that it is just part of the infection that she has contracted. She can't really eat without becoming sick, sounds are starting to bother her, and yet even now she cannot seem to get the support she needs from her mother, her girlfriend, and others who claim to be her friends.

The movie pretty much focuses on the lack of support and the decline in her health. Soon both eyes are red, she is developing some sort of rash on her mouth, her veins are turning blue, and she has another rash in a rather tender place.



It's interesting that it's not until there's only about 20 minutes left worth of movie that she begins to actually show what we see in movies as 'zombie-like' actions. After arguing with her girlfriend once again, she kills her, she kills one of her other friends, and she tries to have (yes, again) unprotected sex with a male friend. That ends pretty quickly, though, as her insides apparently have begun to rot. Maggots begin pouring out of that very tender place. And one eye has now gone completely white.

Trying to run away from it all, our last scene of the movie is her driving her car while talking on the phone with her mother, when her illness finally overcomes her and she apparently dies. This causes her car to swerve and she gets into an accident. 



Soon, though, we see her head come up, and it is apparent that she is now a complete zombie. Her mother, who had been following her, tries to come up to her, telling her she wants to help (although it's pretty bloody damn late for that). As the screen goes black, we hear her mother scream.

I would call this a good movie. I wouldn't call it a good ZOMBIE movie. But this movie takes the subjects of rape, unprotected sex, illegal drugs, and adds a metaphor-like twist to it. Instead of becoming ill with an STD and dealing with that for the rest of her life or dying from it, she becomes ill with a zombie virus.

The acting as I said in the beginning was very good. Ms. Townsend had to carry most of the movie and she does a very good job. The camera work and sound is good, the special effects were okay (the contacts were a little obvious though) and it doesn't try to put music in there to force us feel the way they want us to feel.

You cannot watch this film without flinching. And although the police continue to look for the man (not because Samantha reported him and they never say why they're looking for him) they don't find him - he's out picking his next female victim.