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The Cured (A Movie Review)

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

The Cured

THE CURED (2017)

Starring Sam Keely, Ellen Page, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Paula Malcomson, Stuart Graham, Oscar Nolan, David Herlihy, Peter Campion, Hilda Fay, Lesley Conroy, Natalia Kosfrzewa, Barry McGovern, Amy De Bhrún, Chelsea Debo, Tadhg Devery, Judy Donovan, Sandy Kennedy, Sarah Kinlen, Natalia Kostrzewa, Niamh McCann, Dez McMahon, Alan Moriarty, Patrick Murphy, Amy Naves and Frank Cannon.

Screenplay by David Freyne.

Directed by David Freyne.

Distributed by IFC Films. 95 minutes. Rated R.

I have deep-seated and irrational fears about zombies.

Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the synopsis for The Cured intrigued me – what happens to surviving zombies after a cure has been found for their zombie-causing virus? How do they reengage with society, with the residual knowledge about what they have done?

In this future, Ireland has been hardest hit by this viral outbreak. Years later, they have been able to cure 75% of the infected, leaving the question about what to do with the remaining 25% who, at the start of our story, remain resistant to the cure.

The 25% are held captive in padded, solitary cells, mistreated by their guards. Those who have been already cured are on their own form of parole, closely monitored by frequent checks, subject to the protests of the never-infected society, who continue to live with fear and anger from the loss of so many of their loved ones to this outbreak.

This movie is angry and haunting – the closest comparable to what we’ve already experienced would be the fear of society against the earlier infected people with HIV/AIDS, or for the Germans who supported or even just went along with the Nazi regime. The Cured pits “us versus them” at a base level.

The film feels unfinished, with a number of unanswered plot lines. I don’t know if they are hoping for a sequel, or if they are trying to leave the viewer unsettled. There was definitely a well-timed scary moment where my daughter and I both jumped out of our seats, but the tone was more overall creepy, where we kept going back to our zombie rules from Zombieland (like “Don’t forget to Double Tap!”)

Ellen Page portrays Abbie, an American woman who has lost her husband to the epidemic, leaving her to raise her son Cillian alone. America will not allow her to return and she remains in the house, working as a journalist. She takes in Senan (played by Sam Keeley), her brother-in-law, who has newly been cured and suffers with the nightmare memories of his life as a zombie.

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor was horrifying in his role as Conor – a cured former barrister, abandoned by his family, too intelligent and angry for what his life has become. He cannot play by the rules set before him by the parole soldiers and incites revolution amongst his fellow cured. His story feels incomplete and yet I can’t bear to learn anything more about him. Truly, he is one character that I suspect is as evil (or maybe just too self-serving?) cured as he was as a zombie.

Overall, David Freyne has written a smart script and directs a biting (pun intended) societal commentary that remains interesting throughout. We never get the complete back story that I feel the audience needs to understand the full character connection in the film, but really, The Cured tries really hard. If I wasn’t so terrified of zombies to begin with, I suspect I would be a bit more glowing in my review. In the end, I was kept distracted and finished the movie with an uncomfortable residual scowl.

Bonnie Paul

Copyright ©2018 All rights reserved. Posted: March 2, 2018.

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