“Contagion” Raises New Fears
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
I remember a measles outbreak when I was a kid. We were required to stay home from school till the danger passed. Well, today’s contagions are far worse than measles, mumps, or scarlet fever. We have mutated strains, resistance viruses, bird flues, germs that travel by airplanes, the threat of pandemics.
Don’t believe me? Go see “Contagion,” the scary new thriller that’s playing at the Tropic Cinema.
Matt Damon and company face a worldwide outbreak of an airborne virus that kills its victims within days. Not fun to contemplate because it’s quite possible, only a headline away from reality.
This apocalyptic tale focuses on people and their fear, not medicine. In addition to Damon, the cast includes Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet.
Director Steven Soderbergh (“Oceans Eleven,” “Sex, Lies, and Videotape”) received guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific advisors.
While not conceived as a horror film, Warner Bros, is adding a fear factor in their marketing with taglines like “Don’t Touch Anyone” and “Don’t Talk to Anyone.” Adding to the anxiety of moviegoers, studio-backed social action campaigns offer advice on how to stockpile water and other preventative measures in case of a real Sars outbreak.
“Hopefully, you can sell a lot of tickets if you find a fresh way to scare people,” says producer Michael Shamberg. Death of millions by disease seems to be his answer.
Brad Miska of the horror website Bloodydisgusting.com describes “Contagion” as being “really, really dark and really, really scary.”
So if you cough or sneeze coming out of theater, don’t be surprised if instead of “Gesundheit” you get a fearful “Get away from me.”
[from Solares Hill]