Contracted is the newest film from American director Eric England, whose previous films I haven't seen except for his 2011 film Madison County which is a backwoods killer redneck film similar to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Wrong Turn. I really enjoyed Madison County and i'm glad to hear there's a sequel due out next year.
Contracted tells the story of Samantha (Najarra Townsend), a waitress who has just recently come out of the closet and is having relationship troubles with her first girlfriend Nikki. The entire film takes place over a three day period ( no pun intended). Samantha goes to a party held by her friend Alice and while trying to get through to her girlfriend Nikki on the phone, being stalked by her ex-boyfriend Riley (Matt Mercer) and being force-fed shots by Alice she gets really drunk. In the bathroom she meets a strange and suspicious guy called BJ and after some awkward flirting they end up having sex in the back of a car. She wakes up the next morning with the worst hangover ever and what appears to be the worst period ever as her underwear and bed sheets are covered in blood. Later that day Samantha finds out that the police were at her friend Alice's house looking for some strange guy. Who no one seems to recall seeing there, no one except Samantha of course. So after some headaches, cramps, more passing of blood and a really bad rash she goes to her doctor to find out if it's just an STD or something worse. From here on the rash and everything else begins to get worse for Samantha as her body quickly begins to deteriorate and she becomes more aggressive and irrational.
Contracted is a zombie/infection film but unlike most films in this genre it takes from the beginning of the film until the end for the person to fully turn. It is a slow burner but it's well written and acted so it kept me interested throughout. Unlike most infection films it doesn't have over the top gore. Usually I like a lot of gore but its' absence suited this film as a lot of it is suggestive and works well. One such scene which was disgusting due to good use of sound is when Samantha is having sex with a guy and when he says "Oh my God you're so wet" I laughed and almost puked at the same time. It reminded me of an infamous scene from Takashi Miike's Visitor Q. Najarra Townsend put in a solid performance and I have to say she is probably the hottest zombie i've seen since Trash in Return Of The Living Dead or Julie in Return Of The Living Dead 3. The film itself plays out almost like a warning video for safe sex, especially in the doctor's office as Sam looks around at all the safe sex posters on the walls and the huge basket of free condoms. For me it was a breath of fresh air from the over-populated and over-copied sub-genre of zombie and infection films of today and I really enjoyed it