Film Review: Pandemic (2016)

Director: John Suits
Starring: Alfie Allen, Danielle Rose Russel, Mekhi Phifer and Missi Pyle
Duration: 92 Minutes

pandemic-dvdPandemic is a first person thriller/supernatural film about a virus that has spread throughout the world. We follow Lauren, a doctor who is sent into the streets of LA to search for survivors with a team of 3 others for protection. Think zombies, but with varying levels of zombification that make some appear to just be, well, insane people.

It’s worth mentioning first that yes, this film has a few flaws, but Pandemic is still worth a watch — for a number of reasons. The first being that it’s shot almost entirely in first person, and this gives you a feeling of total immersion.  You can only see as far as the character watching can, and there’s no panoramic views where we can see things that the characters can’t.  This made the film raw, brutal and realistic.

There are several scenes where the infected are having their heads kicked or hit by something and due to the nature of the cinematography, it definitely had me wincing sometimes.  Admittedly, I had to cover my girlfriend’s eyes at points as she simply couldn’t watch anymore.  These scenes reminded me a lot of the infamous fire extinguisher scene in Irreversible.

The second reason why this might be worth a watch is actually because of the characters.  There are some familiar faces here (although none I expected to see in a film of this kind) and they so perfectly fit the stereotypes of the standard zombie/virus film ‘rescue squad’.  You’ve got your arrogant, arsey bus driver that doesn’t like the main character; a bulky bodyguard-esque guy that wears totally unnecessary full camo gear and has a massive gun whilst playing the ‘hero’; the sympathetic navigator that adds very little to the plot and character growth; and finally the nervous wreck that is our main character — struggling to process everything that happens and as a result always seems so totally shocked by the happenings.  I loved it.

This will definitely be a film I’ll remember and always be thinking back on. I’ve always loved this genre of horror, and this only fed my craving more.  From the intensive action to an ever developing story, I think Pandemic would make a great addition to a movie night with your friends (or yourself if you have no friends), and to indulge in a new perspective.  And who knows, perhaps even spark some low budget ideas of your own!

Verdict: 4 out of 5 (Some of the sound design seemed to be not that well mixed and as a result of this I kept having to adjust my volume).

Reviewed by Murray McLellan (@CaptainKroch)

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