I saw a pretty good film the other day called Carriers, which apparently came out last October. I had never heard of before, but it was in the Xbox Live movie rentals list, and because its name implied it had something possibly to do with zombies, I simply had to check out the trailer. What I saw was a film that I found to be very enjoyable, with some decent jump-worthy frights and a good enough script to keep me wanting to watch until the end.
I hate spoilers, so there shall be none here for ya!
The film stars Chris Pine (Star Trek) and a bunch of other fairly obscure actors compared to the usual suspects we always get these days, yet I actually usually prefer this kind of setup, because the story is often more believable when all of the characters are unfamiliar faces – though you may be taking a risk on whether or not they can actually act. However, in this film, I was pleasantly surprised by the actors and their believability, even if one of their characters in particular was so annoying that I really wanted to slap her across the head and shout “GOD, YOU ARE SUCH AN ANNOYING FOOL!!!!!”.
The basic premise of the film is much like every other infection/pandemic/zombie film, so there’s not really a lot of innovative concept writing going on here; an unknown virus has wiped out damn near everyone in the good old US of A, and the story follows a group of four friends trying to get from point A to point B for their own personal reasons. Somehow, this setup is similar to that of Zombieland, only without the hordes of crazy zombies, a lot more focus on the human relationships, and not funny – but seeing as this isn’t exactly a comedy, that’s a really good thing.
Much like in Zombieland, the group of friends have a list of agreed-upon rules which they must follow if they wish to survive, and we are witness to the various trials and tribulations they must go through to get through tough situations, where we see and struggle to comprehend how the rules of survival can possibly still be followed when they are turned around and applied to the people who made them up. This makes for some very hard-hitting scenes and some highly tense and sometimes rather emotional scenes, with a nice bunch of those ‘How the hell are they going to get out of this one?!” moments.
There was even a part that was reminiscent of the mansion scene from Zombieland, with some of the characters playing golf, drinking, and having a well deserved good time. Unlike the scene from ZL, however, this doesn’t last long, and the moment turns on its head quicker than you might expect.
The film didn’t appear to try and be too clever for its own good, and seemed to deliver everything very nicely and just right, dropping the characters into awkward and difficult situations more often than not. This made for a really interesting storyline and kept me satisfied in wanting to see what would happen next. We are given more than enough clues about the state of what is left of human society, with some dark undertones and hints about racism, and just what kind of animals humans can and will boil down to when they are desperate to survive.
It’s hard to say whether or not I could sympathize with or relate to any of the characters – since some of them had a bunch of moments that seem just plain mean – but then every time I think about it, I can’t help but to wonder whether I would only do the same thing if I was ever in the same horrific situations.
All in all I found watching Carriers to be a good experience, with a decent – if a little tired – theme, a good story, good acting, a good script, and gripping moments that are executed and followed up very well. It isn’t that much more impressive than ‘good’, but I would definitely recommend this little gem to anyone who likes a good post-outbreak movie.