Movie Review: Contracted: Phase II
Contracted: Phase II starts right where the original 2013 film ended. Samantha, played by Najarra Townsend, is completely infected with an unknown virus and has become what can only be called a zombie. She attacks her mother and is shot in the eye by the police. The credits then role and we are reintroduced to another character from the first film, Riley (Matt Mercer).
Riley, for those unfamiliar with the Eric England original film, is a young man who had sex with Samantha in the first film. He is getting tested for diseases by his brother-in-law after this and is later told he passed all tests. But he has some bad scratches on his back and begins to show the same signs of infection that Samantha did. Riley then begins helping the police to try to find a man named BJ (Morgan Peter Brown), the man who raped and infected Samantha and is responsible for spreading this virus, before the disease spreads uncontrollably. But by accident, Riley has spread the sickness to his friends and family and the city is increasingly becoming victims to this virus.
Josh Forbes stepped into the director’s chair for Contracted: Phase II, while Craig Walendziak wrote the script. This is Forbes’ first full-length directorial effort and, even though I prefer the first film, Forbes did a great job making a film that was greatly paced and loaded with gore and body horror. Walendziak has been a writer and producer for a few horror films in his young career. His talent was definitely obvious in this film as I thought the writing and dialogue in the film was one of the best parts of the movie.
As I said, I did prefer the 2013 original film and I didn’t think a sequel was necessary at all. Contracted was a unique film that built slowly to a devistating ending. It was open to interpretation as to what the disease was. In the end of the original, Samantha turns into a zombie-like creature but only after suffering with the disease for most of the movie. In this film, some of the infected turn into these zombie in very little time. This was one of my biggest complaints as it was turning into almost a complete zombie flick instead of having more of the body horror like the original.
With that said, I do like this movie a lot. It was a great continuation of the story from the original and complemented it well. But I also thought that Contracted: Phase II was told well enough that it could have standed on its own. It told enough backstory to be its own movie. Forbes, Walendziak, and the rest of the crew did a fantastic job and made a good horror film that continues the story of a great original. They also left an open end that easily sets up the opportunity for a third phase, which I am not opposed to seeing.
Daryl Karpinski, Jr.