The Cured (2018) starring Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Ellen Page. Directed by David Freyne.
Zombies, once a genre that had every horror hound salivating to get a fix but these days has them instead rolling their eyes and muttering, ‘Jesus Christ, now what?’
Zombies are dead. Or undead, but I’m talking about the genre, there’s only so many times we can watch the same hackneyed story of an outbreak, survivors of an apocalypse blah blah blah. I blame The Walking Dead. Zombies should be two or three movies a year, not a weekly show year after year after year. Even worse, it became part of popular culture and once that happens, you’re fucked. Keep horror underground is the lesson we all learned. Nobody wants to hear soccer moms talking about zombies and purchasing stupid fucking action figures. Like when Metallica released the black album, we all shed a tear because we knew it was over.
Recently people have tried do different things within the zombie genre. Every month Amazon bombards me with 642,000 recommendations from authors I’ve never heard of. All the zombie ones promise a ‘fresh new take’ and ‘breathing new life into the zombie genre’. I bought a few. Some had zombies running a la 28 Days Later (I know, they’re not zombies, they’re infected), some have them retaining their memories and talking. One I read even had zombies driving cars. But the more originality people try to inject into the genre the further away they take us from zombies and what we used to love.
The good thing about 2018’s The Cured is that it’s not a zombie movie, really. It’s more of an epilogue to a movie like 28 Days Later. The cure has been found and the infected have been returned to normal apart from 5% who remain resistant to treatment. The only problem is the cured retain their memories of attacking and devouring their victims. The cured are basically on probation and must report to an officer every day as well as receive regular medical check-ups.
One such ‘cured’ is Senan, who tries to pick up the pieces of his former life and return to society but instead finds that society doesn’t want him.
Watching the film reminded me of a documentary I watched about paedophiles who having served jail time must try to become productive members of society, but of course society doesn’t want them living among them. The Cured poses the same question, what to do with people who have committed acts society deems unforgiveable. ‘What nobody talks about,’ says Senan, ‘Is the moment you stop fighting it and just go with it.’ This same sentiment was expressed almost verbatim by one of the pedos in the documentary.
We see some of the cured the subject of verbal and physical abuse and eventually they band together, led by Conor, another cured and a man who has dark links to Senan. The cured find out that the government is going to commit mass genocide on the untreatable 5% and they want to stop it, ‘They’re just like us!’ says Conor as he begins to organise the cured into a terrorist group.
The Cured is more drama than horror movie, but it’s definitely worth a watch. The characters are credible, the actors give great performances and the story lends itself pretty much to any allegory you want, from the aforementioned pedos to mass immigration in Europe, just pick one.
Steve Barnard lurks in the Stygian swamps of South America. He divides his time between scouring ancient jungles for the lost City of the Monkey Children and watching horror movies. Literally any horror movie he can get his hands on. Especially Japanese ones.