Movie Review - Contracted (2013)

A Review of the new film 'Contracted'

Released last week in theaters and on VOD, writer and director Eric England's low-budget indie horror film is nothing shy of cringe-worthy. The story is simple: a young woman named Samantha, feeling rejected by her slightly disinterested, on-again off-again girlfriend and living partner Nikki, gets drunk at a friends party. Drunk and drugged, Samantha has unprotected sex with a strange man, and passes out in a haze. She wakes up in her own bed, and from that point on, her life literally begins falling apart. I don't actually want to give much more of a synopsis, because you should definitely check this film out. 

Now as a hardcore horror fan, who has seen some of the most shocking and graphic films ever made, I have to start by giving a standing ovation to the makeup department. They did such an amazing job of making Samantha's decomposition seem so realistic, that it actually made me squirm in my seat. I even had to pause the movie once, and catch my breath, as my heart was racing out of my chest for most of the film. 

There are a couple of things about the movie that bothered me a little - like her refusal to seek the proper medical attention when it seemed called for. But overall, I was really able to look past this detail and just enjoy the film for what it was: grotesque. And after all, what would a horror movie be without someone 'going out to investigate a strange noise' or 'not going to the doctor even when unexplained bleeding occurs'? Right?

It helped that the cast was phenomenal. Najarra Townsend evokes both empathy and exasperation as Samantha, and truly plays the mental and physical breakdown with dexterity. And Caroline Williams is excellent as Samantha's mother, whose uncomfortable relationship with her daughters sexuality adds an underlying tension that is palpable. I actually met her recently at Halloween: 35 Years of Terror and she was a delight. 

I have not seen the film Thanatomorphose, but I am led to believe by the trailer and reviews that these are almost the exact same film. So I look forward to seeing it and comparing the two. But in the meantime, all I have to go on is what I saw here, and I thought it was pretty awesome. I would recommend this film for anyone who likes indie horror and has a strong stomach, which you'll need for the last ten gag-inducing minutes. Happy viewing.  

Grade: A-

-Leo Francis