The end of the world is a real bummer. You know, everybody gets sick simultaneously, dies, and those that don't get infected don't know who to trust or how exactly to go on. That's the premise of Carriers, the apocalyptic film from Spanish brothers Alex and David Pastor.
Since George Romero's landmark Dawn of the Dead showed that those stuck in the apocalypse can't find happiness no matter the riches they may have at their disposal, filmmakers have tried to capture that end-of-the-world feeling and the Pastors have brought a very dismal and bleak one in Carriers. Not that the movie has any zombies in it. In an interview last year, the Pastors were quick to assert that they wanted Carriers to "stay away from the zombie genre", even if a civilization-ending virus that leaves four survivors struggling to survive during a cross-country drive sounds exactly like a plot to a zombie movie.
So what is Carriers? Not exactly a thriller, not exactly a zombie movie... this is likely why the movie was shelved for years until one of its stars, Chris Pine, became a bankable commodity. It's too bad the Pastors didn't want to make Carriers more for zombie fans, since it often plays like a zombie movie: survivors hiding their infections, poor decision making, not following basic post-apocalyptic survival rules...the only thing it lacked was a good throat ripping. Really, zombie fans are probably the only audience that won't be put off by somber and depressing world that inhabits the movie.
My buddy Jay is fan of horror films, but his succinct review had a lot of validity. Jay wrote me and said of Carriers: "The whole time I was like, man, I'm really getting down over this damn movie. And then the ending was like, well, I'm all alone, gonna die soon, just shot my brother, oh well, life sucks, the end. WTF is that?!?"
It's not a bad question: what the fuck is Carriers? Well, it's a realistic portrayal of a completely fucked up situation is what Carriers is. It's an effective film, perhaps too dire for some, but certainly shows the bleakness humanity would face should it counter a devastating virus, and it's well-acted by Pine, Piper Perabo, Lou Taylor Pucci and Emily VanCamp. Carriers certainly didn't deserve to sit around in a closet for years nor did it deserve a limited release that skipped every major market in the U.S. Trouble is, all Carriers ultimately accomplishes is telling us something we already knew.
The end of the world really sucks.