Film Review: The Cured

Writer-director David Freyne’s zombie thriller The Cured boasts a great premise, which is executed pretty well.

A cure for a disease that has turned people into zombies has been found. The former zombies have to be reintegrated into society, despite the reluctance of many who saw the horror of the outbreak…

David Freyne’s posits a very interesting starting point; that there is a cure for a zombie virus, and the cured must be integrated back into society. The film feels of the same ilk as Maggie and The Girl With All The Gifts in terms of wanting to do something different with a prolific sub-genre. The Cured distinguishes itself from these recent films by having its own unique take.

The film really picks up from a point beyond where most zombie films end. The emphasis, at least in the first half of the film, is how the former zombies get treated by the rest of the population. Senan is a good protagonist for the audience to view the action through. He experiences both the hostility and aggression of others, as well as the welcome of his family as he tries to integrate.

Like many horror films, there are definite allegories at play in The Cured. Early on the film, for example, recovered patients speak about being made to feel like lepers. As the film progresses, the film takes on a political element with the recovered patients being positioned as a marginalised group. It is a clever take, and one that has parallels with the treatment of such groups in recent and not so recent history.

Connor makes for a decent antagonist; it is a good thing that the personal nature of his drive is commented on later in the film. Sam Keeley delivers a good performance, as does Ellen Page as his conflicted sister-in-law. The use of gore is quite restrained, and although jump scares are used, the film relies on a quite style of horror.

Although the ending is not completely satisfying, Freyne’s film has a lot going for it. The Cured offers a disquieting, but not unrealistic dystopia.

The Cured is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017.

Film Review: Maggie


Henry Hobson’s directorial debut Maggie is a brooding drama with gothic accents. The atmosphere is powerful, even if the film lacks vitality.

A disease that turns people into zombies has spread across major cities. When Maggie, a teenage girl from the Midwest, is infected, she is released into the custody of her father to spend her remaining days with her family…

Although Maggie is a zombie movie, it does not fit the mould of this sub-genre. Instead, director Henry Hobson’s film is more of a drama than anything else. Maggie concentrates on family relationships in a difficult circumstance, particularly the relationship between father and daughter.

The film is a slow burner, focusing on relationship dynamics rather than a strong narrative progression. As such there are reflections on the past, and the difficult realisation of the circumstance. At times, it feels as if Maggie is reaching for emotion that isn’t there. Although the mood is consistent, it does not necessarily generate a strong reaction from the audience.

The setting of Maggie is interesting in that it eschews the big city epidemic for a more remote environment. The premise does have a certain hook in exploring what would happen in rural communities if such an outbreak was to occur. Nevertheless, the execution of the film renders it less absorbing than it could have been. Those expecting scares are likely to be disappointed.

The handheld camera gives a feeling of intimacy with the characters. However, this could have been toned down at times. The muted palette works well to give the film a look that matches its thematic tone. Abigail Breslin offers a decent performance as the afflicted teenage girl. Wade is an usual role for action star Arnold Schwarzenegger; his performance is fitting but not standout.

An interesting concept, Maggie is betrayed by a lack of vigour that undermines overall enjoyment.


Previews: Inside Out TV Spot, Maggie Trailer and More

A cornucopia of film-related goodness in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the latest Inside Out TV spot, a Terminator Genisys featurette, Maggie trailer and lots more…

Inside Out TV Spot

Here is the latest Inside Out TV spot. The Disney Pixar film has been doing fantastic business in the US, and looks certain to replicate that in the UK with its summer holiday’s release. With the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling, Inside Out hits UK screens on 24th July 2015.

Terminator Genisys Featurette

The cast and crew of upcoming Terminator Genisys talk about protagonist Sarah Connor in this new featurette. The famous action heroine is played by Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke, who indicates that there will be nods to the original film in this latest instalment of the franchise. Terminator Genisys is released on 2nd July 2015.

Ant-Man TV Spot

Marvel’s latest super hero to receive the big-screen treatment is Ant-Man. From the above TV spots and earlier trailers, the film looks to offer a fair amount of humour. Starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, Ant-Man launches its way onto the big screen on 17th July 2015.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Poster

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation poster

Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in the five instalment of the Mission: Impossible film franchise. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation sees the IMF disbanded, leaving Ethan and his team trying to combat deadly terror attacks. With Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames also returning, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation bursts into cinemas on 30th July 2015.

Maggie Trailer

Arnold Schwarzenegger must once again play the hero in new thriller Maggie. The film is a teenage girl who is infected during a zombie outbreak, and her father’s efforts to protect her. Also starring Abigail Breslin, Maggie is set for release on 24th July 2015.

Ted 2 Trailer

So teddy bears coming to life is something that I dream about. Ted is a little lewd for my tastes, but the first film was enjoyable enoughTed 2 reunites Mark Wahlberg and Seth McFarlane, and brings on board Amanda Seyfried as Ted’s lawyer. Ted 2 hits the big screen on 8th July 2015 in the UK.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Trailer

The trailer for the latest instalment of the Paranormal Activity franchise is here. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension sees a family discover some old VHS tapes which hold a nasty surprise. The conclusion of the horror franchise is scheduled for release on 30th October 2015.

Vacation Poster

Vacation poster

Here is the latest poster for upcoming comedy Vacation. The film is the latest in the National Lampoon franchise, and sees a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) taking his family on a road-trip vacation. Also starring Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth, Vacation is release in UK cinemas on 21st August 2015.

The Secret Life of Pets Trailer

I know what pets to all day; the nap and eat and nap some more. That is to say, they live the life. New animated comedy The Secret Life of Pets takes us behind closed doors. Featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper and Hannibal Buress, The Secret Life of Pets  is set for release on 24th June 2016.

Fantastic Four Photo Shoot

Here are the stars of the new Fantastic Four film looking dapper. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell star as the superhero quartet in the reboot of the Marvel franchise. Fantastic Four launches its way onto the big screen on 6th August 2015.

Spectre Vlog

Here is the latest blog from the set of new James Bond move Spectre. Director Sam Mendes discusses filming a scene that takes place amidst the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City. Starring Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz, Spectre will be released on 6th November 2015.

Magic Mike XXL Clip

The marketing for sequel Magic Mike XXL has been wonderful. This latest clip suggests the tongue-in-cheek attitude will continue in the film. Whereas the first film descended into schmaltz, here’s hoping this instalment will keep the tone humorous. The film is, after all, about male entertainers. Magic Mike XXL is released in cinemas on 3rd July 2015.