This story follows the journey of 4 young people who are travelling through the southern states of a post-apocalyptic America, in the wake of a viral epidemic. The disease they are fleeing attacks the respiratory tract and produces a mottled red rash on the skin of anyone infected.
This is a philosophical horror film which explores the darker side of human nature. If you are looking for lots of gore or action then look elsewhere. If you want something darker and thought provoking, you may enjoy this.
Carriers questions how much of our humanity we are willing to sacrifice in order to prolong our survival. The two brothers in the film, Danny and Brian Green (Lou Taylor Pucci and Chris Pine, respectively) are headed to a resort – ‘Turtle Beach’ – a place where they holidayed as children. Ostensibly they choose this location because they believe it is safe and secluded and will be a good spot to sit out the virus. In reality their choice of location is a Shangri-La: a fictional paradise on earth. The two brothers are trying to keep their world and the innocence of their childhood alive in the face of the horrors around them. In their determination to reach this tranquil spot and to protect themselves from the disease they sacrifice everything.
Brian is outwardly hostile and cruel to the world in his attempts to protect his brother and reach their safe haven. Danny is more passive, yet through inaction and wilful ignorance is equally complicit in his brothers acts. Both actors play their parts very well with Chris Pine develops a maniacal and even inappropriate good humour for Brian which it becomes clear is only to hide the horror of the things he has seen and done.
The two female characters are a little disappointing. Both are acted well, with Emily Van Camp playing the insipid and dead-eyed Kate a little too well, but they feel empty and ultimately pointless. Admittedly this is the story of the two brothers but that’s no excuse for portraying the women as hollow and frankly old-fashioned women.
Father and daughter: Frank and Jodie Holloway, are easily the most interesting and moving characters we meet in the film. Christopher Meloni and Kiernan Shipka (who was only 10 when this was made!) give fantastic performances.
If there is one thing that let’s this film down, it’s that I really didn’t care about Brian and Danny – and I cared even less about their girlfriend’s Bobby and Kate. Brian was too tough and too vicious to sympathise with while Danny was too weak and dull. None of the other characters the group encounter are as interesting as the first two and the sequence at the school in particular is melodramatic rather than moving. Despite that the film overall is gripping and engaging enough. The pace meanders like the four travellers, encountering the odd kink in the road – and this suits the narrative very well. At times it feels a little pretentious but if you’re looking for something that is thought provoking and disturbing then overall it’s worth a look.