Rent Contracted: Phase 1 (2013)

2.8 of 5 from 78 ratings
1h 20min
Rent Contracted: Phase 1 Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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After a lapse in her relationship with her lover (Katie Stegeman) forces twenty-something party girl Samantha (Najarra Townsend) to move back in with her overbearing mother (Caroline Williams), things seem to be at an all-time low. But the devil-may-care Samantha soon finds escape in a one-night stand with a mysterious man (Simon Barrett) who leaves her hung-over, guilt-ridden and infected. Uncertain of the disease or the man who gave it to her, Samantha attempts to hide it from her loved ones. But she soon realises that she is not just the victim of an STD, but rather the host of something much more catastrophic, and that she and those around her are in mortal danger.
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Eric England, J.D. Lifshitz, Raphael Margules
Eric England
Primal Screen
Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Thrillers
Release Date:
Run Time:
80 minutes
Danish, Finnish, Norwegian
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
  • Trailer
  • The Making Of
  • Animated Pitch
  • Promo
Release Date:
Not released

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Reviews (3) of Contracted: Phase 1

Spoilers follow ... - Contracted: Phase 1 review by NP

Spoiler Alert

Samantha (Najarra Townsend) is a somewhat prickly, somewhat supercilious, usually unimpressed party girl who only has eyes (and smiles) for assured posh girlfriend Nikki (Katie Stegeman) – who is even less pleasant that she is! After being stood up at a party, Samantha has unprotected sex with BJ (Simon Barrett) – who may or may not have spiked her drink - only deciding against the idea once he is on top of her in the back of his car, the windows having had time to heavily steam up.

Seemingly as a result of this, Samantha begins to suffer a series of increasingly harrowing afflictions – heavy loss of blood, tinnitus, disorientation, cramps, heightened veins, hair-loss etc. Despite Samantha’s lofty characteristics, Townsend plays her very well and it is impossible not to empathise with her when her illness spirals out of control. What helps our empathy is the furthering reveal of Nikki’s character as utterly self-absorbed, and try as she might, Samantha will never figure in her life because she (Nikki) is always entirely preoccupied with herself and her sexuality.

To discuss the character of BJ– ‘Contracted’ opens with a scene of him having sex with a corpse in the mortuary where he works. It’s actually quite difficult to work out what is happening, which is a shame as the whole reason for Samantha’s decline is based on this detail. It is interesting that, for all his notoriety, we never clearly see his face (in the sequel, he is even played by a different actor).

Another slight issue I have is that the unfortunate girl’s physical decline is not always entirely consistent- sometimes her teeth are blackened, sometimes not; her eyes deteriorate into whiteness only to improve before deteriorating in the next scene. This isn’t a major problem by any means; it just means her transition from living to ‘other’ isn’t always a smooth one!

As a diary of what happens when pretty people are not so pretty anymore, this is interested and wince-inducingly watchable. It reminds me of 2012’s ‘Thanatomorphose’, which also features a young woman becoming increasingly decomposed and attempting to handle the situation alone. Here, the attitude of Samantha’s unsympathetic doctor (who judgementally suspects an STD) and mother appears to explain her reticence to seek further outside help.

Written and directed by Eric England, the first sequel (‘Phase II’) was released in 2015, and a further instalment is due for late 2017. I thoroughly enjoyed this, not ever knowing where the story was headed – instead, just ‘enjoying’ Samantha’s turmoil. Whether any explanations as to the nature of the malady will be revealed doesn’t really matter as long as the story is this horrifying and enjoyable.

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Strangely compelling - Contracted: Phase 1 review by nm

Spoiler Alert

One of those movies where when one of the cast die horribly you don't really care! This films seems quite dated although the special effects are quite good. Sadly, the characters have no character and are just annoying stereotypes. I was please when some of them met their grisly end.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Phase 1 ? - Contracted: Phase 1 review by porky

Spoiler Alert

An interesting beginning to what may become an all out Apocalypse by Phase 3 if it ever gets made ?

Slightly Homophobic in making all the Lesbian Cast members seem Deeply Unlikable people ,Manipulative ,Drug taking and making sure they are Obviously in Need of Therapy and open to all sorts of STI infections.even if This one was passed on by a Predatory male.

Very Entertaining Movie and Interesting watching the Victim become the Aggressor as the story develops. Certainly worth watching and looking out for the Next installment if there ever is a Phase 2 or 3.... well worth a watch if you like Body Horror ,Zombies or Grossness.

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Critic review

Contracted: Phase 1 review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

If you listen closely to Contracted, you can hear the faint whispers of a message. Wedged in between its decent attempt at body horror is a voice that is so loud it becomes indecipherable. Is it a gruesome satire of sexually transmitted diseases or a sinister love-letter for lesbianism? Is it saying something about a stuck-up generation or is it merely dancing in the relatable shadows of dramatic youth? Or is it just plain awful writing for some gory money shots? Whatever the intent, it’s just poorly executed in a story that gives little reason to care about who is sleeping with who or who is killing who.

I just wasn’t too sure what to make of Samantha since so little of her character is revealed. She appears as little more than an average 20-something stood up by her female ex at a party. Her present friend at the party encourages her to drink until she’s drunk. After reluctantly taking some shots, a tipsy Samantha converses with a man who easily woos the influenced woman to his car for a rape. She awakes the next morning with a wicked hangover at her mother’s home where she regrets living. Every conversation seems to be a battle even when her mom is genuinely trying to care for her. So she naturally won’t want to talk about being raped the previous night or the gushing tsunami of blood spewing from her genitals. It’s probably just a big period, she figures. She later fills the toilet at work with another big batch of dark red. It’s probably just cramps, she brushes off.

It isn’t until she fears for her chances of getting back with her ex Nikki does she even consider going to the doctor. The doc merely writes off as an infection as Samantha’s condition continues to eat away at her body. Hair falls out, teeth pop out and fingernails slowly peel away. The disease must be doing something to her brain as well since she seems more concerned with her social status than her own health. Her mother displays great concern fearing she may be on drugs to which Samantha hisses back with her “I’m a lesbian, mom, deal with it” offense. She seems to have contracted that portion from Nikki who is twice as snarky and hostile with her thick English accent and punk body accessories. Nikki is clearly bored and uninterested in Samantha, but she strings her along until the climactic and expected call-out scene.

Nikki’s words ring all too true seeing as how Samantha is not a likable character. I only care for her in the sense that I don’t want any human being to bleed out their butt and puke teeth out of their mouth. Outside of that, there’s hardly a reason to care about what happens to her. I guess you could root for her as a rebelling young lesbian, but rebelling against what? There are certainly people who don’t like her, but most don’t seem to harbor any deeply resenting hatred. Samantha’s religious mother appears more concerned about her health than being gay. The only person who seems to be pure evil towards her is Nikki and, sure enough, she’s the one character Sam gravitates towards. Samantha is a stereotype who associates with other stereotypes, hoping she can reach the same level of absurdity.

So what exactly are you supposed to take away from a film such as Contracted? Through its vague script, you could draw plenty of conclusions about safe sex and sexual identity. You could even trace its themes to both feminism and misogyny the way it brings a ferocity to Samantha, but still punishes her body for being raped. The finale spoke more comically to me seeing as how the zombie apocalypse comes at the hands of a stuck-up lesbian who was too mad at the world to deal with her rape-acquired STD. It’s about all the emotion I can muster for a film that’s as confused and mixed up as the protagonist.

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