Carriers (2009)

DVD Cover (Paramount)
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Overall Rating 60%
Overall Rating
Ranked #2,348
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As a lethal virus spreads globally, four friends seek a reputed plague-free haven. But while avoiding the infected, the travelers turn on one another. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: February 1, 2010
I love post-apocalyptic movies, as I love to see different takes on how a handful of humans will deal with being alone in the world. It doesn't matter if there are zombies to contend with, gangs to battle, or fatal diseases to stave off: I just love that setting, and any film that uses it will more than likely grab my attention. Carriers was a film that came out of nowhere and takes place in one of those worlds, and I picked it up with expectations of a roving band of survivors fighting off zombies or the "don't call them zombies" infected from 28 Days Later. I was wrong, as is usually the case when I rely on a trailer to tell me what I need to know about a movie, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the film.

I usually use this second paragraph to tell you what the film is about, but there's not much to say for this one. There is a disease that has wiped out most of the earth's population, and this disease is very easily spread: if someone with it so much as breathes on you, you will catch it. If someone touches something and you don't thoroughly disinfect it before you touch it, you will most likely become a carrier. Now, by "carrier", I don't mean that you will suddenly have a hunger for brains or that you will become an Olympic sprinter who wants to tear other humans apart: I mean that you will die in a matter of days, and you will suffer until that final day comes.

This is the world that our uninfected heroes live in, and they - Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), Brian (Chris Pine), Bobby (Piper Perabo), and Kate (Emily VanCamp) - have but one goal now: to make it to a certain little beach area and live out their last days together. There are other survivors along the way (watch for Christopher Meloni in a minor yet memorable role) and there are also brushes with the disease and death, but there is no real story here aside from the obvious "they have a destination in mind and they want to get there."

There's a very simple reason why you probably didn't hear anything positive about this film if you heard anything at all: the marketing for it sucked and the trailer was completely misleading. There was no buzz coming out of the horror community, because frankly, this is not a horror movie even though it was marketed as such. Oh, sure, some people die and there are a handful of grotesque scenes (nothing too bad, this is PG-13), but if anything, I'd say that the film is rooted in the drama genre with a touch of thriller elements to spice things up. Horror fans who did happen to hear about it more than likely panned it courtesy of this, and since it was nowhere near what they were looking for, who can blame them?

Meanwhile, the people who would likely enjoy the film probably passed on it, because honestly, why would they want to see what appears to be a low-budget ripoff of 28 Days Later? I know that the studios are in the business to make money and I also know that horror sells, but there are times when they really shoot themselves in the foot with these blatant lies.

So, if it's not a horror and it's more akin to a drama, what in the hell is it all about? Well, the true emphasis of the story is these characters, how they deal with the new world that they are living in, and the choices that they must make. Would you be compassionate towards a child and put yourself at risk in the process, or would you turn a blind eye to her plight and leave her to suffer? What if it was a friend or a loved one? Your parents? These choices and many others arise throughout the running time, and watching the characters deal with the ramifications of their decisions is a treat - a bit of a downer at times, but a treat none the less.

As for the film itself, I did enjoy it. The world that the filmmakers created was rooted in reality and we could easily identify with the local landmarks that pop up, but at the same time, this world is foreign to us and keeps us on the edge of our seats. This perfect mix of Americana and a world out of your nightmares goes a long way in getting us involved with the film, and the characters - with one exception - do a damned fine job of keeping us that way.

That one exception would have to be Emily VanCamp as Kate. I didn't have a problem with the actress herself as she did a perfectly fine job with the role that she was given, but I did feel that this character was useless at best and a burden on the storyline at worst. The character brings very little to the table, she could have easily been written out, and her omission would have made certain scenes work a lot better.

Overall though, I did enjoy the film. I felt that it put a unique spin on the "fatal disease wipes out mankind" tale, and it did so in a way that was a pleasure to watch. I will warn you horror fans that you may not find a lot to love here if you're looking for scares and gore, but if you're in the market for a movie that will make you think and immerse you in a horrific world, Carriers is pretty damned good. Not perfect, but pretty damned good. 8/10.
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added February 1, 2010 at 2:25am
It was pretty good and I agree with you on the character Kate. 7/10
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