Carriers Review

Release Date (UK) – 11 December 2009
Certificate (UK) – 15
Country – USA
Director – Alex and David Pastor
Runtime – 84 mins
Starring – Chris Pine, Lou Taylor Pucci, Piper Perabo, Emily VanCamp

Carriers is a moderately low budget suspense horror film which will constantly surprised you with its strengths. It tells the tale of four teenage friends driving through America after the advent of a virus has infected most of the American population. They are trying to find a safe haven, and to prevent themselves coming in to contact with any ‘carriers’ of the infectious disease. At first glance it looks like a simple horror film starring Star Trek’s Chris Pine as its main attraction. (Indeed it was made many years ago but has remained in Paramount’s store cupboard until now, presumable waiting for the recent Star Trek DVD release to increase Pines fan base). However Carriers is actually a surprisingly interesting story of human emotional relationships and devastations, as the teens have to ignore and leave behind sufferers of the disease on their way.

For such relatively unknown actors and low budget the casting is superb – the acting is spot on throughout with no wooden performers. I was also surprised by the quality of the film in terms of cinematography and setting – scenes of deserted towns and buildings were on a large scale and the technical aspects such as editing and lighting showed excellent production values. Tension is built up using the music as standard in suspense films and there were a few predictable scare scenes that were coming a mile off but the films humane look at the issue of suffering is what is most surprising. As they travel together the group meet people infected with the disease who they need help from (usually gas for their car), but they have to leave these suffering people behind to die as they can’t risk infection.

The films main problem is the recent success of Zombieland, as comparisons cannot help but be drawn. Both films follow four characters travelling around America to flee something, but this time it’s an illness rather than zombies. Indeed, just as in Zombieland, we are not given the context of the virus and what started it the story simply focuses on the characters journey to find a safe place and to try and survive. There are also a few attempts at comedy in Carriers, but this is done much better by Woody Harrelson in Zombieland. If you enjoy apocalyptic films and suspense horrors then this is a short and sweet watch with unexpected dramatic extras.

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