When a deadly outbreak of influenza holds the residents of a quarantined apartment building hostage, Coco and his pregnant wife, Pipi, must form a tentative partnership with an unstable but well-stocked neighbor.
Unremarkable Coco and heavily pregnant Pipi live together in an apartment block in Argentina; they are going about their lives as normal when a news broadcaster announces the outbreak of a deadly virus and a city official turns up on the doorstep to inform them that their tower block is officially under quarantine. Though this may sound like many of the zombie-apocalypse movies you have seen before the film carefully steers clear of the mass epidemic and the hordes of infected citizens, concentrating solely on the small group of people living in this particular tower block.
The first act of the movie gives a very interesting take on this type of viral outbreak movie, making it unlike anything I’ve really seen previously; first time Argentinean director Nicolas Goldbart, sets up and explores the relationship between Coco and Pipi in a fascinating way. Their already unlikely relationship is tested and their individual personality types pushed as their supplies begin to run out and they become frustrated with their intimate, claustrophobic environment. The horror aspect of the movie really only comes into force in the second act when, as supplies dwindle and the other armed occupants of the apartment block become restless and agitated, and begin to pose more of a threat than the virus that rages outside.
It’s all a bit downhill from there; the nuances and intrigue of the first act disappear, only to be replaced by spiralling predictability as violence and darkness overtakes Coco and Pipi’s neighbours. Though well captured and documented the second and third act of the movie replace character with visual spectacle, presenting us with a handful of shots meant to heighten tension and scenes of bloodshed and gore. Though still enjoyable this part of the movie is far less original and entertaining than was first presented to us.
You rated this film: 3
Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Classification is to be confirmed by the British Board of Film Classification