***Post-Apocalyptic Horror*** "Carriers" (2009) is easily one of the best post-apocalyptic films. The story involves four youths in Southwest USA seeking sanctuary from a lethal virus that has wiped out much of the population and continues to do so. To all intents and purposes Government no longer exists and society is now a world without laws. To survive, they live by a set of rules of their own making: Avoid anyone with the disease, trust no one (not even your friends/family), immediately sterilize anything a carrier touches and realize that anyone with the disease is already dead. The four youths are Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), his brother Brian (Chris Pine), his girlfriend Bobby (Piper Perabo) and Danny's school friend Kate (Emily VanCampo). Over the course of a handful of days they are continually forced to make difficult moral decisions that no human being should ever have to make. They soon discover that the real enemy is not the sinister pandemic, but the darkness within their own hearts. Unlike semi-goofy post-apocalyptic films like the Mad Max series, "Carriers" is deadly serious from beginning to end. This works in the film's favor because if the filmmakers take the material seriously the viewer can as well. One of the moral conundrums explored is what do you do if a loved one gets the disease? Since anyone with the disease is as good as dead, do you mercifully kill them? Leave them behind to suffer and die alone? Or stay with them, which is tantamount to suicide since you'll catch the virus as well? The film also explores one's reaction to such a pandemic: Do we forsake all sense of morality in an attempt to survive -- lie, steal, forsake and murder -- or do we hold on to our moral compass, come what may? Is life worth living if you must become an immoral, wicked savage to survive? Isn't it better to live with dignity at all costs -- fight with nobility and die with dignity when and if we must? "Carriers" is to be commended for provoking such poignant questions. Some denounce the film on the grounds that it's too downbeat and depressing, but wouldn't a lawless society with a highly contagious lethal virus on the loose be a very dire situation? In other words, the downbeat vibe reflects the reality of the story. This doesn't mean that every character has to be some moralless savage, as one of the main characters becomes, but it definitely makes the proceedings believable for the viewer. That said, I admit that I would have preferred if the film offered more glimpses of hope, faith and human dignity, but the filmmakers obviously wanted to explore the element of a near-hopeless-situation and the film should be accepted and respected on that level. One obvious plothole is the perfectly maintained lawn of the golf course at the abandoned resort. The film was shot in desolate regions of New Mexico & Texas and runs a short-but-sweet 84 minutes. FINAL SAY: "Carriers" is an excellent -- albeit decidedly melancholic -- depiction of a post-apocalyptic world where conventional law & order are non-existent. The film successfully stimulates moral reflection and is engrossing from beginning to end. Although it looses points for being too downbeat... ***ENDING SPOILER ALERT*** ...especially the climax. C'mon, the dude makes it to the remote beach and he has a hot lass at his side; they could be the new Adam & Eve, but all he does is whine like it's the end of the world or something. GRADE: A-
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Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate.
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