It’s no secret I love a good zombie or apocalyptic film. Whether it’s really worth my time though, that’s another matter and one that I find tends to pop up a lot when dealing with the genre.
Pandemic falls in to the zombie genre but is also very much a drama and action film too. The gore is present of a zombie film but it’s never overpowering, something I think a lot of zombie films are doing these days. Sure, there’s a virus that turns people into deadly creatures but it isn’t the sole focus if but the plot device instead.
Although many will now resent the genre because of its excessive increase in content over the recent years, fans who are willing to accept typical story lines and plots of the zombie or apocalyptic genre, will enjoy Pandemic. I for one couldn’t be any more aware that perhaps the film I’m watching has been done before – but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying it, something I think is necessary to accept for various films.
Pandemic chooses to focus on the search for uninfected humans. The world may be broken but, if done right, there’s a possibility that it can be put back together.
Unlike films that throw all means of civilisation out the window, Pandemic’s military works with people to not necessarily find a cure but at least preserve what’s left of humanity. From this perspective, the audience is given a different understanding behind the process of the sickness. As one of the main characters made her way through the cells she, and us as an audience, were given an explanation behind the five stages of the zombie virus.
Although typical in some sense, I was still fascinated by the sequence and appreciated the film’s effort to understand the transformation.
Surprisingly for a smaller budget film, Pandemic features a few familiar faces such as Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Mekhi Phifer (ER and Divergent) and Paul Guilfoyle (CSI). I say surprisingly but it does seem to be more and more common for bigger television or movie stars to feature in straight to DVD movies.
The stand out feature in Pandemic would have to be the first person perspective or POV cinematography that featured a lot throughout the film. It isn’t done very often and is more prominent in video games. Narrative-wise these shots were justified as cameras mounted on their hoods to record and document their travels.
From the trailer, I assumed these POV shots would be from one character but instead they jumped between characters whether through conversations or general sequences. It wasn’t jarring, it was somewhat fun, but it’s use was definitely questionable and felt as though it was constantly reminding you that it was a film that was trying really hard to experiment.
Pandemic is not as sleek as it could be and misses an indie charm that allows films of this genre to stick out from the crowd. If you don’t have that pizzazz or spark, your flame is just going to go out and unfortunately this is what happens to Pandemic.
Running Time: 91 MIN
Genre: SciFi, Horror
Director: John Suits
Starring: Rachel Nichols, Alfie Allen, Paul Guilfoyle, Pat Healy, Danielle Rose Russell, Missi Pyle, Mekhi Phifer
Production Studio: New Artists Alliance
Distributor: XLrator Media, Madman Entertainment
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