FILM REVIEW: Carriers

15 • 84 mins • 11 December

Directors: Àlex and David Pastor
Cast: Chris Pine, Lou Taylor Pucci, Piper Perabo, Emily VanCamp, Christopher Meloni

Rating:

Most movies are like sneezes – orgasmic head rushes, blown over at the speed of snot. Other movies are more like a prolonged cold – with you for a few days, then forgotten. Carriers is aiming for shingles.

Brothers Brian (Star Trek’s Chris Pine) and Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci) are on the road in an America where almost everyone is dead from an unexplained virus. They’re trying to get to Turtle Beach, a childhood hideaway, where they hope they’ll be safe from the disease. Along for the ride are their girlfriends, wild Bobby and cold-hearted Kate. Loyalties are tested, tragedy strikes and death is everywhere…

It’s no surprise that we’re seeing so many post-apocalyptic movies right now (Zombieland, I Am Legend, Book of Eli…); just as paranoid fantasies like War Games and Red Dawn were popular during the tail-end of the cold war, we’re now living in uncertain days. Carriers is certainly one of the more thoughtful efforts, a meditative treatise on the ethics of survival in a land where all hope is lost. While it feels like a zombie movie at times, there are no chase sequences, no lurching monsters. The enemy is within, and the terror of infection is constantly racking up the tension.

With a slightly obvious main plot, it’s the excellent performances and the little details that make the film. A doctor failing to keep his Hippocratic oath. An ironic careers fair notice. A gas station road sign that reads “Mike is d3ad. Meet at Dads” which not only remains unexplained, but unremarked upon. It’s in the shadows between the lines of the tight script that the film really holds its power. Like shingles, it’ll get under your skin and leave you itching for weeks.

Jon Hamblin