Film review: Contracted: Phase II – zombies return for pointless sequel
Poor writing and shaky performances mar this follow up to Contracted
Hong Kong audiences will be forgiven for not remembering Contracted, Eric England’s nasty little body horror that came and went from local cinemas in the blink of a pus-filled eye last Christmas. A strong central performance from Najarra Townsend and a smartly plotted script helped it stand out in an increasingly crowded indie horror marketplace, but the same cannot be said for this largely unnecessary sequel.
Following on immediately from the events of the first film, Riley (Matt Mercer) discovers that he has contracted the flesh-eating virus that turned Samantha (Townsend) into a zombie, and sets out to track down patient zero, BJ (Morgan Peter Brown), before he dies or is taken into quarantine. Detective Young (Marianna Palka) is also circling the case, as BJ’s antics leave a fast-growing trail of dead young women.
While Contracted portrayed BJ as a perverted loner with a penchant for necrophilia, Phase II reveals him to be an apocalypse cultist eager to annihilate the human race. Sadly for all concerned, poor writing and shaky performances, punctuated only occasionally by serviceable moments of gross-out horror, make this an entirely missable enterprise destined for iTunes obscurity.
Contracted: Phase II opens on November 12