Film Reviews

PHASE 7

By • Sep 20th, 2011 •

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People trapped in an apartment are quarantined by a global virus. Sure, it’s been done before, but how is it handled outside the U.S.? PHASE 7 is the Argentinian answer.

The template is straightforward. A few people are trapped in a confined space. How do they handle a zombie attack or a global virus?

This is where a Costco membership comes in real handy. Or living near LDS families. The current LDS teaching indicates that a three month supply is advised. Along with magic underwear, LDS families have stockpiles of stuff they rotate every few months. They are ready for anything.

Instead of moving or making such preparations at home, many people also make plans to remain in their current locations until an actual breakdown occurs, when they will—in survivalist parlance—”bug out” or “get out of Dodge” to a safer location. Many survivalists have a bag of gear that is often referred to as a Bug Out Bag (BOB) or Get Out Of Dodge (G.O.O.D.) kit, holding basic necessities and useful items weighing anywhere up to as much as the owner can carry.

Through TV news reports, Coco (Daniel Hendler) and his pregnant wife Pipi (Jazmin Stuart) find out that an epidemic is raging across the globe. Unfortunately for Coco, he’s got a nervous, suspicious cough.

Apartment dwellers Coco and Pipi do not have a stockpile or a BOB.

Their neighbor Horacio (Yayo) has been secretly preparing for this event. He’s got a haz-mat suit and a stockpile of weapons. The health ministry team has blocked exits from their apartment building. All the residents are stuck inside and Horacio is, in my opinion, the tenant worth knowing – even if you have to humor him by agreeing that the virus is man-made.

At least that’s what I would do – make friends with the crazy guy with the weapons and biohazard suits. He’s prepared for anything!

When Coco’s other neighbor, the elderly Zanutto (Federico Luppi), comes over to borrow supplies, Coco downplays the crisis to Pipi, who is blissfully unaware of the dangers of the virus. Coco starts spending time with Horacio, who is sure that the virus is a New World Order conspiracy to end over-population. Horacio can now implement his survival training and that means ransacking empty apartments for supplies, and getting rid of potential virus carriers.

Horacio wants to seal off part of the building and starts implementing frontier justice. Writer-director Nicolas Goldbart has created interesting characters though I must say I was annoyed at Pipi’s attitude – she’s seven-months pregnant and should be more worried about her coughing husband who kept leaving the apartment to hang out.

The set-up, so mundane and ordinary, veers into a violent, bloody conclusion.

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