Saturday, August 23, 2014

Movie Review: "Contracted" (2013)

We've all heard about the dangers of unsafe sex and then make our own decisions and live with the consequences. While living with herpes may be horrible, it's nothing compared to what the lead girl in "Contracted" has to deal with.

Title: "Contracted"

Director: Eric England

Screenplay: Eric England

Starring: Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Alice Macdonald

Release Date: 2013

I am extremely pro-safe sex, if only because I try to keep my body healthy. Thus, I can never understand why people can just jump in bed with a stranger, but the situation this movie presents does happen quite a bit. Our lead, Samantha, is a young woman who's struggling with a bad lesbian relationship as well as an overbearing mother, studies and work (in a nutshell, most young people's lives). We also learn later that she suffered from depression and drug abuse in the past. This all bottles up and she lets the booze flow at a party, meets a random guy, and has sex with him. This all happens before the title is shown so the movie gets started quickly and never really slows down. The rest of the movie takes place over three days and we follow Samantha's life as it collapses around her.

Basically, this movie is really a metaphor for young people and the struggles they face as they have to enter the real world as adults. While some people land that perfect job right after school, more often than not they struggle at minimum wage jobs while trying to pay off debts. And of course, relationships can be rocky, such as in Samantha's case, as she's not really sure how she feels sexually, nor how to find a decent person to be with.

As bad as all that is by itself, add to it a mysterious illness and this movie will make your skin crawl. Watching her body break down was quite unnerving, since some of the stuff that happens is similar to some STIs. If you're a female you'll especially feel comfortable, most notably when the maggots show up (yes, I said maggots and it's just as bad as whatever you're imagining). I must give props to the makeup team and all the great practical effects. The only hiccup was when they used a red contact in one eye and it was pretty cheesy looking, but thankfully lasted only a few moments. The final day's appearance is top notch. The gore that does appear is great as well, though most of it is just straight up blood.

The dialogue and acting are pretty decent, though Samantha's girlfriend comes off as rather annoying. The plot is pretty straight forward and the way Samantha deals with everything is realistic; I rather liked the scene of her returning to the doctor and being told she just has to wait for results (who hasn't been extremely frustrated at the doctor's?).

Would I call this a "great" movie? No, but it's better than good. I gave it four stars in Netflix and I may or may not watch it again (I HAVE had an interest lately); however, I doubt I'll ever actually buy it. I suggest this movie to anyone past their early twenties who's gotten past some crap in their lives, as you'll sympathize.... and maybe get grossed out along the way (the maggots, the maggots!!)

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