Carriers [DVD] (2009)
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Four friends fleeing a viral pandemic soon learn they are more dangerous than any virus.
The first film released in the aftermath of Chris Pine shooting to fame in last summer’s Star Trek, Carriers was actually already in the can before Pine donned his Starfleet uniform, and it arguably took the profile of the sci-fi smash hit to ensure it got a full release. It’s a good job it did, though, for whilst Carriers is a movie with problems, it nonetheless packs a good deal into its 80 minute running time.
It’s hardly a fresh story behind it, to be fair. You have four youngsters driving through the desert in a car, although in this case they’re trying to outrun the pandemic that happens to be sweeping the world. As they hunt for safety, and as we follow their increasing desperation, things inevitably become ever-more bleak for the four, and not all of that can be blamed on the threat they’re running from.
Playing heavily on the mistrust between the four main characters, Carriers is a solid, often really quite tense little movie that rarely excels but generally impresses. It could use more exposition, and it could arguably use some better performances too, but for a small, tight-budget horror thriller, Carriers nonetheless manages to punch above its weight. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
Then we watched the low budget CGI and action free zone that is 'Carriers'. This is nearly a brilliant film but for all the reasons that most lovers of the sci-fi horror genre will not like. This is the relatively short story of a group of four teenagers on a road trip to the coast in a post pan endemic afflicted world where (like 'Survivors')most of the worlds population has died or is likely to be dead any time soon. I can see why so many people felt disappointed with this film as it was billed as some sort of Zombie/ horror flick and actually is neither.
That is the backdrop but this is actually more of a moral study on how selfish and fragile we are as people. They are all rather unlikeable as characters but the more that comes out the more you can understand them. The two brothers are the central characters but the character development is done in tiny snap shot exchanges and you have to concentrate to pick it all up, there is little in the way of flash backs. Brian (the elder jock type - goes on to be the young Capt Kirk in one of the Star Trek spin offs) seems to be running away from the past as well as the disease and he is the alpha male who lays down the rules that ultimately mean they will all lose so were the rules right in the first place? Was anything right in the first place could be a secondary underlying question? But the human spirit certainly takes a kicking in this film, and you might need a cheer up afterwards.Read more ›
What follows is that they encounter a man on the road with his sick daughter, and their plans then go astray. The moral dilemmas build up, the character dynamics unfurling in a whirl of human emotions, disappointments and heart aching decisions are evident as the search for sanity and gasoline goes on. Naturally the virus isn't the only thing to be fearful of, there's the other virus, that of the human condition in survival situations...
Having sat on the shelf for three years, Carriers came a bit late in the day to make a telling mark in a sub-genre of horror that has tapped into our new age fear of the virus. In a way that is a shame, because David and Alex Pastor's (writers/directors) film is very well made. With good performances, astute photography and a humanistic narrative that is not without merit. Yet even for 2009 it feels old hat, like a lukewarm sci-fi schlocker without the monsters or apocalyptic peril.
It's well worth a watch because there is nothing irritating here, but anyone expecting some infected/zombie infused apocalypto will be very disappointed. 6/10
Many of the film's detractors have cited Pine's dislikeable character as a main turn-off. In fairness, the story does well to give the audience an insight into why he is the way he is; not least as we see his character stripped away at the end with his plaintive rhetorical question: 'how did we get here?'.
The dichtotomy between the alpha-male older brother and the weaker but academically intelligent younger brother is an oft-used device so it's nothing we haven't seen before.
What I admired about the film was the stark moral (or immoral) choices that faced the group. Ironically, the very thing that makes us human, compassion, also proved to be the most deleterous to their mortality. There were a number of scenes which provoked intense feelings of cognitive dissonance; wishing that they could have ended differently but knowing that, pragmatically, they were the right decisions to make in absolute terms of self-preservation. The most poignant for me was the scene with the father and girl singing 'incy wincy spider'; the juxtaposition between the innocence of nursery rhyme and the realisation of their fate.
Nonetheless, I think where the film does fail slightly is - despite a spartan running time - at times the direction felt aimless albeit punctuated by some cracking scenes.
All told, I would probably watch it again although if I was moved for some post-apocalyptic cinematic depression i'd opt for The Road every time.
Sure along the way they meet that bloke from CSI: Special Victims Unit and his sick daughter who infects one of the party an hour into the movie but it was too little too late. Ultimately with such a good backstory it was so bad to see how much it flopped. In fact the only reason this gets 3 stars is because it has such a good backstory the rest of it sucks.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Carriers is a great post apocalyptic survival genre film where the main cast is a small group of people aboard a car trying to escape an epidemic that infects and kills people with... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Arun
I was surprised how good this was. Really interesting exploration of how people behave in a disease crisis and how relationships stand or fall. Surprisingly brutal too. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Miss Smith
another film about a virus killing people and a family trying to stay alive and slowly turning on each other in pathetic attempt to stay alive,there are too many of these copycat... Read morePublished 17 months ago by D.W.hattermann