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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Phase 7 (2011) Apocalypse Thriller

Phase 7 (2011) - QUICK HIT! This Argentinean thriller about the end of the world as we know it was a pleasant surprise for a quick view one weekday night. The title refers to the plan of the wealthy elite of the world to reduce the number of people on the planet by 90 percent by introducing a virus to kill most of us off. Protected themselves with an antidote they with their wealth and armies can rule as they want without all this nasty voting and democracy. Sound outlandish? Well its not going to sound so crazy when we start dropping like flies. You wait and see it will be utter chaos!
The film takes a look at one apartment building that is quarantined early in the epidemic and pretty much stays there exploring the reactions and strategies of the residents as the crisis escalates for a long period of time. The primary characters are Coco (Daniel Hendler), his pregnant wife Pipi (Jazmin Stuart), survivalist conspiracy theory neighbor Horacio (Yayo Guridi) and Older former hunter, neighbor Zanutto (Federico Luppi). There are some other neighbors who are left a bit more undeveloped but do impact the plot.
The main focus of the first part of the film is to establish the crisis. Coco and Pipi just arrive home from doing a really big food shop and we see in their travels some signs that the world is getting a bit off. People rushing to the supermarket as they are leaving, a crashed car abandoned on the corner, people packing up and getting out of the city. They are oblivious as they talk about mundane things. It is only when they hear a bullhorn outside of the apartment that they learn that they have been quarantined inside their building and are prodded to turn on the news. The building is sealed in plastic and they learn that a international crisis is brewing with a virus that it fast moving and deadly, sweeping the world. They are told to stay in their apartment and avoid contact with other people. They do that and we see some quick cut scenes of them stemming off boredom as time passes.
The film picks up as the people in the building start running out of supplies. The film then shifts to Coco heading out and interacting or eaves dropping on neighbors as they plot and plan to take things from each other. His floor's other apartment belongs to Horacio who has heard of the Phase 7 conspiracy and has been preparing for year in case the event occurs. He tries to educate young Coco by giving him a video, but Coco is very nonchalant about it. He still doesn't get the coming survival of the fittest mentality that will sweep through the building. Slowly Horacio teaches him about the crisis and gives him some of the things he needs to survive. Horacio is a character, a paranoid who is proven right, he has everything you need for the situation. He has food stores, contamination suits, weapons and flash explosive he can rig on the stairways to stun and warn of intruders. He takes a liking to Coco and it is the best thing the naive young man could have happen.
As time passes some of the neighbors get desperate and try to take from others, Guglierini (Carlos Bermejo) and Lange (Abian Vainstein) with a young nephew make an attempt get older Zanutto to open his door. When he does we learn Zanutto is not a man to fuck with and the special effects are great. He is instead a man you should fear, he also knows how to survive this situation and for him it means eliminating those in the apartment building who could threaten you at some point. He sees that as meaning everyone and with his elephant rifle he starts the main thriller part of hunting down his neighbors. This is the main conflict of the story, with Horacio and Coco dealing with the very dangerous Zanutto. It is a good threat and a satifying plot line. The only thing this writer did not like is that each time Coco went out to deal with happenings in the building he left poor Pipi alone. The thing is he never (well at least not until the end) told her what was happening in the building. I get his motivation, she is very pregnant and he did not want her upset or worried. Still though the crisis was big enough and the killing had started so he should have told her what was what. Hell Zanutto could have come and killed her while he was roaming about the building and would have no idea anything was wrong.
Still in the end, and I purposely left out a lot of details so you will see this film, it was a satifying story. I like end of the world films and this one was entertaining enough to keep me engaged through out. Available on Netflix Streaming it is not a bad couple hours.
Rating (6.2) 5.0 and up are recommended. Stream it!

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