Written by: Giuseppe Rijitano on May 10th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: France, January 31st 2009
Director: David Morlet
Writers: Louis-Paul Desanges (writer), David Morlet (writer)
Cast: Hélène de Fougerolles, Francis Renaud, Dida Diafat, Marie-Sohna Conde, Nicolas Briançon, Luz Mandon.
DVD released: May, 10th, 2010
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: French Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD Release: Momentum Pictures
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.99
Sloppy faced, bloodstained, crazy eyed zombies wander the snowbound countryside, feasting on the fresh corpses strewn about the icy earth. A bedraggled woman stumbles out of the woods away from the feral creatures onto a lonely stretch of road BLAM! she gets squished like a bug by an ambulance racing it’s trio of terrified occupants to what they hope will be shelter. It’s the aftermath of a mysterious virus that causes it’s victims to become bloodthirsty cannibals. A doctor, Sonia (Helene de Fougerolles) and her boyfriend Marco (Francis Renaud) are attempting to reach a military station called Noe with the help of a couple of soldiers, unfortunately one of them has been bitten and the other is a paranoid bitch. A killer combination that soon leaves Marco full of bullet holes and bite-marks, luckily Sonia’s quick thinking, and quite good marksmanship skills, lead to the couple limping their way to an abandoned hospital.
Sonia proceeds to try and treat poor old Marcus in the hopes she can concoct some sort of cure for the virus utilizing her own, apparently immune, blood. Cue lots of painful BrundleFly-like moments with Marcus squirming in pain, pissing blood, losing teeth, hair and eventually his mind! Before long, as if things weren’t bad enough, a bunch of well armed survivors turn up to slap Sonia around and generally make a nuisance of themselves. As the infected population grows outside it soon becomes evident that the survivors can’t stay in the unfortified hospital for much longer. Oh and is Marcus still mutating in the basement? Of course he is………
28 Days Later’s rage-charged zombies spring instantly to mind when you first catch sight of Morlet’s mutants but don’t let that put you off. Despite initial appearances this turns out to be something more (or less if you’re after more of the same) in that the story takes a turn for the substantial with themes of love, suffering and even euthanasia being touched upon during it’s middle (and most affecting) section. It’s almost a pity that it reverts back to zombie’s-chasing-down-corridors sequences in it’s final act but hey-ho, pacing be damned. It’s a beautifully shot film as well from (surprisingly) a first time director, thoughtfully composed and taking full advantage of it’s stark, bleak locations. As with most recent French horror flicks the blood flows freely and, at times, bathes the unfortunate actors in rouge. There are nasty effects aplenty, with an added, almost unnoticeable cg touch here and there. But this shouldn’t be dismissed as yet another in a string of hyper-zombie cash-ins, as I feel this does bring something new to the genre, but it’s uneven plot/pacing lets it down somewhat.
Anamorphic transfer is very nice indeed, colors look vivid (mainly red though!) and the distinguished cinematography is shown off to great effect. Audio again is excellent, special mention to the depth exhibited in the scenes of cannibalistic carnage. Only extra is a trailer.