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on February 14, 2018
This movie has nothing new to show you, but its economical and ruthlessly efficient. Director Eric England claims that no one has ever made a zombie movie with an STD zombie virus. That may be true, but his movie doesn't turn into a zombie movie until its final 10 minutes. So it really is more of a body horror movie.

One strength is that England doesn't spend too much time on the origin or nature of the virus. He understands that the unknown is far scarier than a clinical and detached description. Another strength is that the exceedingly immature young woman near the end begins to love herself and her faults. She accepts who she is. At one point she starts to fix her hair in front of a mirror, with peeling skin and bloody eyeballs and all. No way would I argue that this movie is on the same level as Cronenberg's The Fly or Haynes's Safe, but this sudden jolt of intelligence is very rare in a low-budget shocker. I also felt the non-ending that everyone is complaining about is actually well-judged. We've seen so many zombie movies that we can fill in the rest of plot after Townsend's character attacks her mother. Instead of a fade-to-black, England gives us a quick cut to black. That's all she wrote.

The rest of the movie, sorry to say, is standard stuff. Gross-out highlights include a grub-infested uterus. The scenes including the gynecologist are rudimentary, boring, and so unbelievable that they probably could have been edited out. Caroline Williams is effective as the mother, but her character flip-flops too much between intolerant Bitch Mom and matronly tough love. England indulges in some tedious flower symbolism that either is confusing or else cluttered and unnecessary.

IFC is putting a lot of support behind this movie, and it's been selling for very high prices for over a year. You do get a lot of extras such as interviews with the cast and crew. They're all very informative and take you into the process of what it was like to be on the set during production.
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on November 25, 2017
a cautionary tale. Very well done. Lessons learned: Never have sex with strangers without condoms; if your doctor seems incompetent he probably is, go elsewhere; even though your mother has issues try to see beyond and let her help you; sift through superficial relationships i.e., if you don't feel like drinking don't let someone make you. If your lover seems distant- move on and forget it. If you know you are really sick, don't go to work. Most young women have dealt with one or more of the above issues and have made mistakes. If not, watch this movie repeatedly and learn from it. The acting is very good especially the lead. I am guessing this story is a metaphor for the lonely-ness of recovery but guess what it also portrays real issues for women showing a woman suffering hopelessly in deterioration of mind and body as her hopes for the future also deteriorate.
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on August 5, 2014
Contracted constitutes an allegory about the dangers of unprotected sex engaged indiscriminately with strangers and reflects an intellectual attempt, by who I believe will be a director of rising popularity within the horror genre, to demonstrate the debilitating effects suffered by people who contract AIDS - which since the disease afflicts homosexuals, warns of the dangers of homosexuality by portraying lesbians as women who have been jilted by men and people who are deviants who possess parents who experience difficulties accepting their sexual preferences, and thereby encounter difficulties getting along with those who care for them the most as well as being individuals starving for affection; who will easily be jilted by their lovers for the most inconsequential aspects of their lives, and as such will go all the way to secure attention - the failure of which can lead to disastrous outcomes.

The movie begins with an impressionistic shot of falling petals, filmed at one sixth speed, followed by an extreme close shot of someone spraying the petals of flowers with water, and from there proceeds to the leading actress, who despite being a new star, puts in a commendable performance and draws the audience into what constitutes an intelligent and witty script, with the lead character expressing her longing to be with her lover, who being tied up is unable to be with her on her night out, spurring her to engage in sexual intercourse with a man in a drunken state, consequentially incurring the wrath of her lover, who abandons her for betraying the lesbian lifestyle, thereby provoking her to the act of murdering her lover and spurring her to seek affection from the one person who demonstrated concern for her despite her debilitating illness - a man.

Despite the thought provoking theme and the wonderful built up the story ends on a disappointingly anti-climatic note and hence falls one star short of perfection.
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on October 30, 2017
Original idea...I want to give it a 3.5 for professionalism. It could have been excellent, but, I feel the script failed the actors, or maybe scenes were shortened or cut?? It depends heavily on emotional interactions between characters. There is a lot of stuff going on in this movie that is good, interesting, intense, but the scenes were like thin soup. It's good when you're hungry enough. :)
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on February 6, 2014
Some of the best horror films released in 2013 never got the benefit of a theatrical or DVD release, and "Contracted" stands tall in the ranks of those unheralded gems. Owing a debt to David Cronenberg's "Rabid," this films also deals with the deterioration of a woman's body and mind as she slowly undergoes a metamorphosis into something primal and inhuman. Strong on gore, solid on story and featuring above-average acting, this one is highly recommended. If I had to pick one thing to quibble about it would likely be the ending, which was a bit too abrupt and left me wanting a little bit more closure.
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on May 7, 2014
Not that the last two descriptions are anything negative, by far. If you're into the gore, horror genre, then you can deal with the majority of this movie.

I ran across this film as quite a happy accident and watched it with a friend, and we were both left absolutely speechless and in awe over just how well done it was. The concept of a one night stand with an infected partner being the cause of turning a human being into a zombie had not been done before, and is a genius idea to be honest.
It didn't appear to have any CGI effects - this all seemed to have been chucked up to amazing acting and mind blowing costume and makeup design. Bottom line - it can almost make you believe this is something that could actually happen,
and that is a rarity when it comes to these sorts of films.

If you're a bonus features junkie like I am, you won't be disappointed with the interviews, behind the scenes/making of featurettes, or the optional commentary by the director, star, and one of the co-star/producers of the film.
Just be sure to watch these AFTER seeing the film, as there are far too many spoilers and it can likely tend to take away
some of the "magic" of good movie making.

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on December 7, 2013
This is a well crafted little picture. It's tough to reinvent the wheel but this is especially true with horror films. Unless you live in a vacuum cleaner bag, chances are you have probably seen a movie in the last decade with a rampant virus as the antagonist. Rather than focus on the aftermath of the virus outbreak, here we get to witness its origins. The message is pretty clear and tips a hat to the 80's genre of horror where sex and sin invariably lead to death and destruction. However, this is a far more modern approach and my wife and I were both pleasantly surprised.
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on August 27, 2015
This movie was very well done telling a different story of how the whole zombie epidemic could happen unlike all the rest of the zombie movies out there that have the same story. If you enjoy horror, kinda gross stuff, and zombies I would highly recommend this movie and just ignore all the negative reviews.
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on August 31, 2014
Not the typical zombie film - but was very creepy and yes, she IS becoming a zombie - hard to say why w/out major plot spoiler. Good acting, dramatic, creepy, and flows VERY well I felt. Pity it did not come out on Blu-ray as the decay effects would have been good for that type if digital clarity. IFC brought a good one to us with this film and I'm starting to take note if they were involved when making a purchase choice. Glad to have this in my "zombie" collection of films
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on September 14, 2014
Okay, this movie is pretty messed up in so many ways. I had to watch the beginning again because I wasn't sure what that lab guy was doing...! That was one of the creepiest parts. I know this is a low budget film, but that being said, you will get your money's worth here. It is a creepy surreal take on a genre that has been beat to death in other films and on tv. This movie is actually interesting to watch and I thought the lead actress was great!
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