Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Two brothers and their women are driving across (Texas?) in a stolen car. When they stop to avoid hitting an SUV sitting in the middle of the road they are accosted by a man begging for gasoline. As the man pleads with them for help they catch a glimpse of a little girl peering out of the back window wearing an allergen mask. This is our first indication that something is wrong with the world. We soon learn that an airborne virus has wiped out most of humanity and that the two couples are trying to get to a beach house that the brothers used to visit as children; a place associated with happy memories and safety. Reluctantly the group agrees to take the man and his infected daughter along, as long as they remain in the back seat separated by a rinky-dink, Gerry rigged plastic wall. We know this road trip is not going to end well.
Carriers is derivative of many post-apocalyptic world movies (e.g., a group of survivalists must make their way across the country while battling gun-totin’ extremists, hungry animals, the military, and virus-infected, psychotic individuals). Derivative doesn’t necessarily mean bad and Carriers does a pretty good job putting its own unique stamp on the genre while treading over well worn ideas. Also, like Neil Page and Del Griffith in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles the characters learn something about themselves along the way. In the morally ambiguous story loyalty is questioned when one of their own becomes infected; would you leave a loved one behind just because they had a touch of a humanity extinguishing virus?
Carriers is a pretty good but two things really bugged me,
The film opens and closes with grainy Super-8mm home movies of the lead characters when they were children. Video cameras have been around since the early 80s, which would easily cover the ages of the kids in the scratchy film.
Most of humanity has been wiped out by a plague that is airborne yet the only protection the characters use are allergen masks like the kind I use when I paint my ceiling.