Review by Jack Foley
POST-apocalyptic movies seem to be all the rage at the moment… but there are some gems among the usual glut of disaster or zombie themed multi-plex fillers.
John Hillcoat’s forthcoming adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is one to pencil in the diary for January, and Alex and David Pastor’s Carriers is one to book in to see now.
With America decimated by a killer virus, four survivors – led by Chris Pine’s hothead and including his calmer brother (Lou Taylor Pucci), girlfriend (Piper Perabo) and friend (Emily VanCamp) – head for the coast to escape contamination from the infected.
En route, they must live by a pre-defined set of rules that are continually put to the test by the various people they meet (including a father and his infected daughter) and their own trust and loyalty to each other.
Carriers is notable for its low-key, intimate approach and its generally downbeat mentality.
There are a couple of decent shocks and some bloody sequences but the Pastors have kept these to a minimum in favour of examining the group dynamic between the friends and creating a sustained sense of dread.
As a result, his cast get to shine so that when the inevitable tough decisions and losses take place, the emotional effect is more lasting.
The performances, too, are good with Pine showing pre-Star Trek leading man potential, Perabo channelling angst well and Christopher Meloni stealing the show as a desperate father who finds himself unwittingly in the friends’ hands.
Carriers may be a little too sombre and a little too slow for those seeking Roland Emmerich style pyrotechnics or zombie-chase scenarios a la I Am Legend/28 Days Later, but for those seeking an intriguing and thought-provoking alternative this ticks all the right boxes.
Running time: 90mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: April 26, 2010