Film Review: ‘Contracted’

…Already blasted, she’s an easy mark for party crasher B.J. (Simon Barrett), who slips her a roofie and then has vigorous sex with her in a car outside. At first the only consequences of these hijinks are guilt and a monumental hangover, but soon Sam is bleeding (and shedding maggots) from various orifices, and suffering aural hallucinations, cramps, eye discoloration, loss of hair and teeth, et al. Her doctor can’t figure out what’s going on, beyond a certainty that it’s the result of some STD… Nevertheless, it succeeds within its very limited goal of simply chronicling one unfortunate young woman’s body going to hell over a few alarming days’ course, aided by Mayera Abeita’s discomfiting special makeup effects. While her character is never appealing on the inside, either, Townsend gamely throws herself into portraying Sam’s panic (and eventual violent anger) over such external decay. Tech/design contributions to England’s fourth feature are all solid on modest means.

-From the Variety review by Dennis Harvey

Well, we’re still going to see it.

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TV Review: ‘The Returned’ (Les Revenants), ‘Zombie Night’ – More Dead People Walking

…Yet Camille is not alone, with other resurrected folk including a young man (Pierre Perrier) whose death left his intended bride (Clotilde Hesme) at the altar; and an eerie young boy (Swann Nambotin, simply mesmerizing) who won’t speak, though strange happenings seem to follow in his wake. Also, there’s the little matter of new attacks by a long-dormant killer, suggesting he might be among the risen… Not every beat works, but after watching an hour it was hard not to stick with “The Returned” for the full ride.

-From the Variety review by Brain Lowry

We realize we’re a little late to the party for The Returned (Les Revenants) on the Sundance channel, but just in case you haven’t heard about the series, here’s your chance to read a review. It doesn’t sound like a great choice to watch when you’re depressed or experienced the death of someone you loved (or worse yet, both), but other than that, we’ve heard nothing but great things about the show. Speaking of being late to the party, this piece in Variety by Brian Lowry also reviews the first Syfy zombie movie, the cleverly titled “Zombie Night“, which somehow made us more depressed reading about than The Returned. Syfy: Please stick to ridiculous, fictional giant creatures like “Ice Spiders” or even really stupid ones like “Ghost Shark” and the now-notorious Sharknado (tagline: ” ‘NUFF SAID!”) suddenly come crashing through a wall or leaping out of nowhere to eat a character. If you’ve seen The Returned, let us know how you liked it!