Movie: "Carriers" Flawed From Beginning
October 12, 2012
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Zombie films are a dime a dozen today and there are several sub-divisions of the genre. Depending on the movie being referenced, zombies are created by radiation, sickness, or rage, and a person can become a zombie by being bitten by another zombie, by coming into contact with the bodily fluids of the infected, or they can simply breathe the contagions that cause the transformation. The rules for and of zombies are almost constantly evolving, giving writers many varied options in how they want to tell their story. Unfortunately for "Carriers", it does not appear that a decision for how to handle the zombies and the plot was ever solidified in the script.
In the film, brothers Brian ("Star Trek’s" Chris Pine) and Danny ("The Chumscrubber’s" Lou-Taylor Pucci), along with Brian’s girlfriend Bobby ("Covert Affairs" Piper Perabo) and Danny’s school friend Kate ("Revenge’s" Emily VanCamp), are on the road towards a beach house the boys frequented as children, believing it will be a safe zone from the chaos the world has descended into thanks to a mysterious and highly contagious illness. While traveling, the group runs into father and daughter Frank ("Law & Order: SVU’s" Christopher Meloni) and Jodie ("Mad Men’s" Kiernan Shipka) who are desperate to get to a hospital, and possibly a cure, for the aforementioned illness Jodie is a carrier of; begrudgingly, they decide to travel together. Throughout their journey the group faces moral and ethical dilemmas, as well the potential loss of their sanity and humanity.
"Carriers", which was released in 2009, was written and directed by brothers David and Alex Pastor and that is probably the main reason the film seems like it is two different scripts forced into one, where neither writer/ director wanted to compromise their individual visions. The film pitches itself as a zombie movie, but it is only a zombie movie if one counts "28 Days Later" as a zombie film; the people are not traditional zombies like in "Night of the Living Dead", but are just infected, sick individuals. Although the cast is fantastic, especially Pine and Pucci portraying the brothers with emotional baggage with a nice bite (once the story gets going, that is), the material they have to work with is so convoluted that it is no wonder that the film eventually falls apart. In the plot, specific rules regarding the infection, how to handle those who are contaminated and how to survive the new world are all outlined right in the beginning of the film; the characters continually break the rules throughout for no legitimate reasons and, more importantly, how the disease is contracted keeps changing during the course of the movie. Sadly there is no real continuity.
Parts of the movie are enjoyable, but had it been more thoroughly thought out and perhaps had a longer running time to truly develop all the minute details, it could have been a decent unnerving popcorn movie. That is the most annoying thing about the film, while watching it there is just so much frustration because there was so much wasted potential overall.
"Carriers" is rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing content and language and it runs 84 minutes. It is available on DVD.
Jennifer Fratangelo is a 2010 graduate of Montclair State University, Summa Cum Laude, and a 2008 graduate of Sussex County Community College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations and an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts.
On her spare time she enjoys exercising, traveling and has an obsession with all things movie-related.
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