I was originally attracted to the idea of the film Contracted because of the premise. I have always enjoyed horror films about diseases and viruses, perhaps because I grew up in a medical family and married someone in the medical field. Maybe it’s because every now and then I enjoy being completely disgusted beyond my understanding. Whatever the reason, I popped Contracted in, got myself settled with a bag of Oreos and prepared myself for an hour and twenty minutes of gory goodness.
It didn’t take long for me to put up those Oreos.
Samantha (Najarra Townsend), having been dumped by her girlfriend, gets drunk at a friend’s party and hooks up with a stranger in his car. The next morning, she wakes with symptoms of an illness that only seems to get worse. To complicate things more, she knows nothing about the man who gave it to her, except that the cops are searching for him. Soon she finds that what she believes is a sexually transmitted disease is so much worse and she is host to a virus that is putting everyone around her in danger.
The moment I started urinating a gallon of blood, I would’ve rushed to the doctor but it took Samantha far longer than it should have. Either she is the most stubborn female on the face of the Earth or the dumbest. With the multitude of symptoms she accrues, including teeth and hair falling out, blood shot eyes and blood gushing from all sorts of holes, she shouldn’t be working at a restaurant where she can pass it all on to all sorts of people, but once you see the ending, you know what those people are in store for.
More than once I found myself covering my eyes in disgust. The things Samantha endures throughout the progression of the virus are beyond horrible and the makeup effects are so realistic, my stomach turned. The worst part is the maggots. Why did there have to be maggots?
Though her part is small, Caroline Williams is a great addition as Samantha’s mother. I feel like her addition to the film was just to add a large horror name to draw viewers but the film is very solid on its own. It very much reminded me of Marina de Van’s cringe worthy Dans ma peau, also known as In My Skin, a film I am very unlikely to ever forget.
Contracted is not for the sensitive or weak horror viewers. I would not suggest watching if you cannot stomach anything above The Walking Dead. For those hardcore horror fans, prepare yourself for one screwed up viewing experience because you are in for more than you might expect. I am willing to bet you won’t risk unprotected sex again after one viewing of Contracted. You never know what someone might have.
Contracted is available on DVD from IFC Films on March 18. Pick up a copy.