Contracted: Phase 2 (2015)

Contracted-Phase-II-Movie-Poster-Josh-ForbesHey guys, we are creeping slowly towards Halloween, and I am getting pretty excited. I mean, essentially my plans include doing what I always do, watching movies, and also trying out the beer me and my partner made, which is pretty exciting. Anyways lets get on to this unnecessary sequel. Contracted: Phase 2.

Riley searches for a cure to the virus that took over Samantha before it consumes him and the entire world.

Alright, so this is a sequel to a 2013 movie (which I watched and didn’t review), which was actually pretty alright. It gives a semi interesting twist to the zombie genre that brings STIs into it. This movie picks up where the last one ends, with the main character being killed by police after crashing her car. We then cut to an unnecessarily long autopsy scene, and then a guy that I totally forgot about takes the reigns. There are a bunch of flashbacks to the first movie, which you of course need to pad out this movie, which still only runs 78 minutes!

I stayed away from this movie for awhile because I saw that the previous director was no longer any part of this one, and I really enjoyed the writing and directing I found in the first movie, so let’s start with those elements of this one. The new director is a newbie, at least to feature directing, named Josh Forbes, and the writer this time is first timer Craig Walendziak, and I have to say that nothing really makes me want to keep up with either of them. The movie is pretty bland, considering all of its attempts to be gross. There are attempts at body horror that will certainly make you cringe, but all of it just reminds me of how great David Cronenberg’s movies are, and really those elements don’t really add anything in this case.

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On top of the body horror, there are some really heinous bits of dialogue sprinkled throughout this movie. One that I found particularly egregious occurred when our hero (played by Matt Mercer) is getting an STI test from his brother in law, Morgan Peter Brown (Ouija) (for some reason). It’s clear that Mercer is uncomfortable, and to reassure him, Brown says “It’s a lot harder for guys to get these things”. What the actual fuck is that (besides sexist)? There’s also a horrible song, which I’m sure the director would tell you was a joke, and not a whole lot of likable characters (read: none). All that, coupled with Marianna Palka’s totally out of control accent did not make for a positive experience.

The terrible song is actually a good example of this movie’s total lack of tone. There seem to be a number of jokes, like the song, and the main villain recording his “spooky villain” tapes, but the tone is so misplaced that the jokes don’t work, and they don’t work in a serious context either. The writing really falls flat in both building up the characters, and making the movie feel real or believable. Mercer’s character pulls a finger nail out of his back, which has apparently been there for days, which I didn’t buy for a second, and at one point still feels like it might be a good idea to hook up with his new girlfriend, even though there even a minute chance that he has some kind of necrotic STI.

I won’t deny that there are some effective make up effects in this one, and if all you want is something that looks gross, it’s probably going to work for you. That said, you’d be better off to check out anything by David Cronenberg or even early Peter Jackson, you’ll have way more fun and the movie won’t be this weak.

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All told, this movie has a real lack of tone, feels a bit mean spirited at times, and has this really bizarre misogynist bent to it. I’m sure that you might even disagree about that, because these days any statement that is even vaguely feminist is met with resistance, but the way this movie portrays its female characters, and the fact that mercer’s character still thinks he might sleep with someone just because he might be SEDUCED by her womanly ways really doesn’t work for me. He takes no responsibility for putting people at risk until the end of the movie, and by then it’s just too late.

I’ll give a recommend to the first flick, but this one really fell way way short.

RATING : **

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