Some things in life scare the ever living crap out of me. There is quicksand which seems to trap me every third nightmare, or how about contracting some god awful STD? Most the people I know, self included, have bedded down with someone questionable or lacked the proper protection when doing so. Contracted is here to take that 2nd fear and multiply it by ten.
Contracted swirls around Samantha (Najarra Townsend) and what might be her last 72 hours among the living. Sam has been having some serious relationship problems with her girlfriend Nikki (Katie Stegeman) and is stood up at a house party. Along comes BJ, sporting the ever awesome date rape drug, and the next thing we know it’s off to the car for some hanky-panky.
Did I forget to mention the movie opens with necrophilia? This feature does not shy away from taboo and director/writer Eric England has no issue making sure you know that. We will explore the aforementioned necrophilia along with homosexuality and hardcore drug use. It can be very hard to approach or incorporate these things without becoming a cop-out or feeling like an after school special. Luckily these things are subtle or of indirect focus. The emotion and fear are center stage here.
I have such an issue with plot loopholes and suspension of disbelief. Questions were popping into my mind nonstop like, “Why has no one contacted the CDC upon multiple doctor’s office visits?” You can clearly see she has some type of viral infection. Why was she not at least referred to a specialist? What happened to BJ? What is it he had that made him wanted by the police?
I find it very hard to believe that a possible love interest in Samantha would show up at a moment’s notice, and proceed to make love with a partially decayed women at her request. This guy seemed like a genuine dude early on so how do you not notice things like a partially missing mouth, veins everywhere, hair missing, and discolored eyes? This whole scenario seemed quite forced almost like we needed some weird closure on the possibility of a relationship between these two.
Many viewers and media are labeling this as a zombie movie. In the traditional sense, I don’t agree. I can see the connection but this movie is more about the emotional struggles of one girl as she seemingly rots from the inside out. The pace of this movie is slow and seems to drag about halfway in. Once you hit a stride in the third act a frantic pace sets in and the movie is over before you know it. The ending down right pissed me off.
If there is anything zombie about this flick it could be the acting. Everyone outside of Sam’s character seems almost wooden. Najarra Townsend is the only one putting up any believable acting throughout this feature.
This movie is a solid indie attempt at toying with the infection/zombie genre. This one will make you feel uneasy. It may not be the goriest thing out there and it doesn’t need to be. A lot of the gore is left off screen for your imagination to create, and believe me, it will. I will be promoting this to all my teaching friends in the coming years. This movie would have any young person thinking twice, maybe even three times before getting down to do “the nasty”.
Do a Shot: anytime you see maggots.
Drink Some Beer: if you wonder why no one is alerting national authorities to this.
Sip a Fine Bourbon: when Sam seems to play off the severity of her current condition.