review by robyn kilroy
I think most people would agree with me when I say that the zombie movie is a sub-genre that has very much been overdone. Whether it’s a serious horror such as Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later or a more comedic take like Shaun of the Dead, the horror genre has been bombarded with flesh-eating creatures for generations. However, after seeing David Freyne’s new Irish horror film The Cured, I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh take on the zombie movie.
Set in Dublin, The Cured tells the story of a disease known as The Maze Virus, that sweeps across Europe, infecting people and turning them into zombies. After treatment for the virus begins in Ireland, certain people who have successfully recovered (known as "the Cured") are released back into the public. The film follows Senan (Sam Keeley), who is cured, released from quarantine and taken in by his sister-in-law Abbie (Ellen Page). The "Cured" face societal backlash and are seen as murderers amongst the general public, leading many to turn radical in the face of the ill-treatment they experience.
With most generic zombie films, the narrative is commonly centred around a survival plot, in which a group of people must escape some form of zombie sickness. This film, however, refreshingly deals with the aftermath of the outbreak. We see a post-apocalyptic Dublin that is trying to rebuild after the outbreak of the virus. The set-up of the film allows a more humanistic approach to the zombie as we see characters like Senan come to terms with the memories retained from their infected selves. As well as this, the film deals with how far you’d go to fight for your life, with members of the "Cured" forming a radical violent group, led by Conor (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) in order to fight against the discrimination they face amongst the general public. By focusing on the aftermath of the zombie outbreak, the film allows a lot more drama and sympathy towards the infected character that we may not see other films in this genre.
However, the one thing I’ll say about this new take on the zombie film, if you’re going to see it to get your fill of classic horror, you’ve come to the wrong film. While there are many jumps and rather terrifying moments (I don’t do horror films well), they come few and far between. The film chooses to focus on the dramatic and thrilling moments of terror rather than horror. Consider this a warning to those horror fanatics who are looking for their next fix of heart-pumping jump-scares. The Cured offers a refreshing twist to an often predictable genre.