Directed by Alex and David Pastor
Starring Piper Perabo, Chris Pine, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Emily Vancamp
Carriers is the story of four friends fleeing from a viral pandemic that has overwhelmed the country. But the reality is that they are much more dangerous to themselves than any virus.
These four friends (a set of brother by the names of Danny and Brian along with girlfriend Bobby and non-girlfriend Kate) live by the rules set forth by the elder brother Brian:
1. Avoid the infected
2. Disinfect anything they have touched in the last 24 hours
3. The sick are already dead
Except those rules begin to change when they stumble upon a SUV parked sideways on the road. Frank and his infected daughter Jodie are in need of gas to make it to a town where a cure for the virus has been manufactured.
After maneuvering around the SUV blockade, the car dubbed “The Road Warrior” after the same-named film about a post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland breaks down because of the desert terrain.
They have no other choice but to hoof it back to the SUV with gasoline and drive to that town with Frank and his infected daughter (There was another choice, but apparently the savagery of their situation has yet to come into play).
The town is seemingly empty and abandoned, but Frank, Brian, Danny, and Kate venture into a high school where a lone doctor is “curing” the remaining children of the disease. There is no cure here. The doctor is loading himself and the children with a large dose of potassium, killing them before the virus can.
Meanwhile, Bobby (Brian’s girlfriend) is splattered with some of the little girl’s blood when she tries to help Jodie breath with her oxygen tank. She acts like nothing happens when the others arrive back to the SUV, not telling them anything about what happened.
And so the real question is brought to the forefront: What are you willing to do to survive? After watching Carriers, I was struck by that question and the moral decisions that the four friends were forced to face, decisions that no human should ever be forced to face.
But it does bring about the fact that there is a darkness in us and that we are capable of facing those moral decisions and making a far less noble choice in those situations. Enough philosophy, let’s return to the film and some of the characters from Carriers.
Let’s talk about Brian, the man behind the rules and not so surprisingly the man who wanted to forgo the rules after becoming infected. Brian is a typical older brother to Danny, mocking him until the jokes turn mean and hurtful and caring for his brother by doing what Danny cannot.
But it turns out, Danny has learned from the master (Brian) and can do what is necessary to survive. It is quite heartbreaking to watch Carriers, it was considerably more emotionally driven than I expected but that is what made the film so good.
Carriers was more about the bonds of family and friends and the darkness inside all of us, what we are willing to do when faced with disease and death, than the survival of a viral epidemic. It certainly was not what I was expecting, but it surprised me with its emotional pull, the beginning and the ending really pulled on my heartstrings.