May 2, 2014 Contracted (Movie review)
Contracted is the latest movie by debut Writer and Director Eric England first seen at Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival and released on video on demand on the 22nd of November 2013.
Young and attractive budding florist Sam (Najarra Townsend of Me and You and Everyone We Know 2005, Tru Loved 2008) is trying to adjust to the recent breakup with her live-in girlfriend Nicki (Katie Stegeman of Couples Retreat 2009, Madison County 2011). She has been living with her homophobic mother (Caroline Williams of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 1986, Halloween 2 2009) since the breakup and life has been getting increasingly more difficult and conflicted. Despite this, Sam has been at a pretty high point in her life. She has been cultivating rare orchids for an upcoming flower show with the hope of winning $4,000.00, and she has loyal loving friends.
One night in an attempt to forget about her failed relationship, Sam goes to a party at her friend Alice’s house (Alice Macdonald of It’s always Sunny in Philadelphia 2005, The Art of Storytelling 2014) and ends up having sex with a mysterious man. Almost instantly, in fact the very next morning, Sam starts to feel quite unwell. Like a bad hang over she cannot quite shake, Sam stumbles through the next day feeling increasingly more sick. This is just the beginning of her life’s rapid deterioration.
On the first afternoon, Sam meets up with a dismissively late Nicki for coffee, who tells Sam she looks terrible. Sam conveys her yearning to work it out with Nicki, but she rejects her, leaving Sam feeling deflated. Sam finds out from her friend Alice that the police are looking for the mysterious man, not knowing Sam had slept with him.
On the second day, Sam is woken up covered by uncontrollable bleeding, a deep purple spreading rash, and finds her physical appearance is in comparison to early decomposition. Sam goes to her Doctor (Ruben Pla of Spanish Fly 2003, Insidious 2010) who initially believes she may have a cold or bug and tells her to rest. She continues trying to work as normal, but her body has other horrific ideas. Hearing screaming in her ears and stabbing abdominal pain cause her to leave work and return to the doctors. After her second visit, the Doctor eventually gets out of Sam that she very recently had unprotected sex with a man, and believes it could be a virulent form of sexually transmitted disease and urges her not to have contact with other people.
By the third day she is looking like a zombie, her hair is falling out, her mental state is failing and her emotions are out of control. Interestingly enough, her orchids match her physical deterioration, but she seems unable to see this. The police are hot on the trail of the mysterious stranger who they now realize has been carrying and passing the disease onto other woman. By this time, Sam has just about lost her mind and goes on a short sharp deadly journey of revenge against those she feels have wronged her. Her entire life is turned upside down after her brief sexual encounter, changing her life and all those around her indelibly forever. It isn’t ever made clear what the disease exactly is, but whatever it is, it’s fast acting, and insidious. Turning a beautiful young lady into one of the cast from the Walking Dead, all in a matter of days.
This movie has a sound, innovative, deep plot, touching on many aspects of Sam`s already complicated life. Its fast pace and disturbing twists and turns make it a joy to watch, keeping you guessing right until the end. It must be noted that there are some graphic scenes that are not for the faint-hearted. The musical score by Kevin Riepl known for his diversity in such films as Brandy & Mr. Whiskers, Sky High (2005), and Gears of War (2006) aids greatly to the tension and suspense and gives you tingles down your spine. A must watch for all horror movies fans. CrypticRock gives Contracted 5 out of 5 stars.
Purchase Contracted on DVD at Amazon here.