INTRO: Let me start off by saying that if you are looking for an action or classic zombie horror flick, you will be severely disappointed. I think that if you walk into this movie knowing what to expect (or simply without expectations) you'll find it to be rather stirring. Having said that, let's break it down...
ACTING CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: Overall, the acting was good, and what I loved about the movie is that it really touched on how different we all are; our diversity of personalities when faced with a crisis andor dangerous situations. While the affliction in the film is fictional, it really touches on the human condition, and I think in many ways relates to how loved ones feelcope with real modern-day illnesses. While Arnold wasn't the lead character in the movie, I was actually most impressed by him, not because he was specifically better than anyone else, but because I think most viewers (myself included) don't typically associate him with this kind of movie. In my opinion, he nailed it though, and put a man on screen who had to overcome overwhelming emotional conflicts; a man both weak and powerless, yet strong and determined all in the same given moment. Having said that, the movie would've been useless without a solid performance by Abigail Breslin, who played the emotionally torn Maggie very well.
PACE MOOD: The atmosphere was consistently bleak, and the pace was smoothsteady, which really helped us focus and hone in on the character progression. The FX were similarly well balanced, looking authenticrealistic, while in no way distracting from the nuances of character development. In fact, I'd say that most of the 'horror' in this movie is in the details; it's the 'heartache' kind of horror made even more apparent by the isolation and respective loneliness of the main characters throughout the film. Additionally, while its 'down to Earth' approach allows us to relate and connect with the characters in a more intimate meaningful way, I feel as though it could have used A LITTLE swearing to give us more rawness; not everyone swears when they're angry or terrified, but generally there's always at least one who does, and heshe was missing in this movie (maybe this was done to keep the MPAA rating low, at PG-13?). While not critical, I hope there will be a cut of this movie released that adds a little more verbal intensity to the storyline.
CONCEPT STORY: A totally different take on the dreaded "Zombie Apocalypse" scenario; this movie really hones in on that 'in-between' stage usually missed out on in the zombie genre. It serves as a reminder that sick people are just that... "sick" & "people", and that even in situations where the answers might seem clear-cut from an outsider's perspective, ifwhen it happens to us, there's a whole lot of grey surrounding our day-to-day decisions.
QUOTES TO REFLECT ON: "What would you do? What should my dad do to me? Quarantine? Do you know what it's like there?"... "They tell people everything's nice, that they'll hold your hand until the end... but they don't. They throw you in a big room with everyone else; they don't separate the phases, everyone's all bunched up together. People eating people, and they don't care. So what would you do?" - Trent (a few minutes later...) "She looked really bad Mag. I don't know why I went over to her, but I did; I felt bad I guess... I told her to stay there, but then when I turned around to call for dad, she bit me. I could see it in her eyes, you know, she regretted it; probably didn't even know she did it. Then dad showed up, shot her in the chest and the head." -Trent
This is merely a fraction of the struggles the film grazes on, but again, the movie is filled with trains of thought one could easily apply to common illnesses in our own reality's context.
CONCLUSION: As stated earlier, it's not an action movie, nor a terror flick, but it's actually a really great movie (especially if you're the reflective type); in my opinion it's definitely worth watching AT LEAST once.
Review by tommylangzik from the Internet Movie Database.