“We are not infected”
Yet again I have to start a review with an apology for not posting lately. My internet provider is totally fucking useless, despite paying for 20mb I get less than dial-up with no idea when it will be resolved. This review will take four times as long as it should but I need to put some new content here. So todays review is a French zombie movie called Mutants.
Mutants tells the story of Sonia & Marco, who as the movie starts are fleeing in an ambulance (Sonia is a doctor) a virus which has turned the vast majority of the population into flesh hungry zombies. They are accompanied by a young policewoman, while attempting to fuel to ambulance the group are attacked resulting in the death of the policewoman & Marco being bitten & infected. The couple seek refuge in what looks like an abandoned hospital. Sonia (who is pregnant) tends her husbands wounds & tries to call for help using a radio in the hospital. Marco starts to deteriorate, as the days go by his condition worsens. Sonia is aware of what her husband is becoming & just how dangerous he will become but cannot bring herself to kill the man she loves. Just as the virus completely takes Marco a group of survivors arrive at the hospital with their own agenda.
This film reminded me of how I felt watching 28 Days Later. The opening half hour was gripping & promised so much, then the movie nose-dived, just like 28 Days Later into a nonsensical mess. This movie could have been so good. The premise was original, at least in the way it tackled the zombie apocalypse. It took the whole end of days theme & brought it down to its basic humanity, could you kill the one you truly love? Helene de Fougerolles does her best with what the script gives her as Sonia. She really captures a woman torn between love & logic in her performance & is one of the movies only highpoints. Francis Renaud as Marco also tries hard to give some emotional gravitas to the proceedings but is severely hampered by the limp script & overplayed drama. The rest of the cast are fodder & one-dimensional. The effects are mostly CGI & just about passable, sadly the same cannot be said for the make up effects on the infected. They are ridiculously over made up & look about as scary as a tortoise in a wetsuit. The action scenes are filmed in the fashionable shakycam/fast cutting style which does the movie no favours what so ever. The movie does have a couple of things in its favour (apart from de Fourgerolles performance) The cinematography & scenery are stunning & compliment each other. The film & the hospital itself are set in the snow-covered French countryside, giving the movie a stark & isolated feel. The hospital itself has stark flourescent lighting & white walls giving the scenes a cold, harsh ambience. If only this film could have remained true to its opening third, if it could we would have a zombie classic to rival Romero, Fulci & all. As it is Mutants stands as a huge disaster. Shame.
I really wanted to like this film, but it’s just awful. If you’re looking for a good modern European zombie movie, check out [REC] If you want to see a good French zombie movie check out La Horde. If you want to see a truly disappointing zombie movie, then Mutants is your film, just don’t say I didn’t warn you!