Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Cured (2017)

Streaming Services: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: The Cured (2017)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Bac Films, Savage Productions, Tilted Pictures, Axinite Digicinema, Kino Films, Shaw Organisation, Bac Films International, E.S.C., Falcon Films, IFC Films, Movies Inspired, Shout! Factory, Splendid Film
Director: David Freyne
Writer: David Freyne
Actors: Elliot Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Stuart Graham, Paula Malcomson, Peter Campion, Oscar Nolan

Blurb from IMDb: A disease that turns people into zombies has been cured. The once-infected zombies are discriminated against by society and their own families, which causes social issues to arise. This leads to militant government interference.

Selina’s Point of View:
I love zombie films. I’ll go to see anything that has any kind of living dead in it. It’s a guilty pleasure. That said, even I’ll admit that most zombie films don’t really make you think. They’re turn-your-brain-off, horror goodness.

That is not the case for The Cured.

Now, I’ll be honest, I have seen this thought process examined in one other zombie film. Still, I’m willing to say I consider the take original.

The previous film in question was a very small-budget mockumentary B-movie that I watched for the blog. You’ve heard me talk about how I’ll watch films and forget that they exist about a week later, but this was the complete opposite. ZA: Zombies Anonymous (2005) has stuck with me since I reviewed it in 2013. It’s done so because of it’s unique take on the zombie genre. The plot was a lot simpler than what we see here, though.

The Cured is like a dream flick. It takes a lot of the issues examined in ZA: Zombies Anonymous and expands upon them. It goes deeper and takes an even more serious tone. It covers not just the rehabilitation of former zombies, but other aspects. The cured remember their time as zombies, so we get to see what their mental state is as they try to come to terms with what they did when they were infected – but we also get a peek into what their minds were like as members of the undead.

The film also goes into discrimination, and even a bit into recidivism and victim blaming.

When there’s a zombie film, it’s safe to expect mindless violence and gore. This, however, was a much different film. You get some violence, but the edge-of-your-seat thrills actually come from the lack of violence. You’re always teetering right on the edge of a disaster waiting to happen. It’s almost a relief when it does.

I don’t think I blinked. For the entire hour and a half I was watching The Cured, my eyes were glued to the screen. I even loved the ending.

I expect this one to stick with me. I’ll likely be mulling over the plot and the conclusion for a long time. Just, if you watch it please remember, it’s not your typical zombie flick.

Cat’s Point of View:
I can’t say that I was entirely sold on The Cured.

While the premise showed promise, and there were intriguing bits sprinkled here and there, I felt that the movie took too much time plodding along to get where it was going…and then it left me hanging in the wind created by its abrupt ending.

Let me rewind a little and give some credit for the good things that I appreciated about this film. I hate being negative sometimes because I respect that every production is someone’s “baby.” A whole production team and crew work for a multitude of hours to create something. That’s nothing to sneeze at – but it can’t be helped if it doesn’t resonate with part of its audience.

I appreciate that this was ‘a little Irish movie that tried’ in that it was both filmed and set in Ireland with Irish cast members (for the most part). I was glad that the non-Irish cast was integrated into the story in a way that it made sense rather than just being a random non-Irish accent (or a hokey one) sticking out like a sore thumb. For instance, Elliot Page’s (Juno, Inception, Flatliners) role as the widow of an Irishman.

Character-wise, Sam Keeley (In the Heart of the Sea, The Siege of Jadotville, Meagan Leavey) and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Peaky Blinders, The Infiltrator, Dublin Murders) did well with their roles. I felt the interesting dynamic between the two from the beginning –and while I found my initial guesses regarding their connection were off, I wasn’t far from the mark. I palpably felt the desperation of Paula Malcomson’s (Deadwood, Sons of Anarchy, The Hunger Games) character as she pursued her goals in the movie. I don’t think that any of the film’s faults rest with them or any other individual cast member.

Increasingly, we are seeing more and more zombie genre movies focusing on the monstrosity of humanity rather than the zombies; keeping the flesh-eaters mostly in the background. This film focuses primarily around that with the topic of discrimination. The point is conveyed well enough, even if the plot somewhat muddies those waters with the central antagonist.

I hated the ending. There’s just no way to sugar-coat that.

Sadly, I can’t say that I’d be able to recommend this movie if asked. I definitely wouldn’t volunteer the film as a suggestion, and I likely won’t watch it again. There are so many zombie movies and shows out there. While this production might be better than your average B or C movie schlock, it was still unsatisfying.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 69%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 46%
Metascore – 57/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.1/10
IMDB Score – 5.5/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2/5

Movie Trailer:

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