Phase 7 (2011)

In early 2011 Bloody-Disgusting .com teamed up with AMC Theatres to create Blood Disgusting Selects which distributes independent horror movies through AMC theatres, VOD and DVD releases. One of the first films to be selected was Nicholas Goldbart’s Argentine apocalyptic horror-comedy Phase 7.

Coco (Daniel Hendler) and Pipi (Jazmin Stuart) who is seven months pregnant have been quarantine inside their apartment along with their neighbors after one of the residents has become sick with a deadly virus. After a short period of time in the inclosed apartment the residents start getting paranoid and forming groups. Coco soon has to partner up with his neighbor Horacio (Yayo Guridi) to protect his wife from the dangers in the apartment.

The film started off with Coco and Pipi arguing in a supermarket and no sign of an epidemic is seen until a group of shoppers come running into the store. On their way home Coco and Pipi are still arguing as they drive pass frantic people running about. Still even after being quarantine in their apartment Coco and Pipi don’t seem to care or even acknowledge the fact that the outside world is breaking down as they pass their time by watching television, playing board games and arguing. It isn’t until things turn much more serious that they realize what’s happing around them.

Daniel Hendler and Yayo Guridi in Phase 7
Daniel Hendler and Yayo Guridi in Phase 7

In a sense the filmmakers are like Coco and Pipi as they don’t seem to care explaining anything about the virus. Besides one character, no one dies from the infection, no one in the film is shown infected. In fact the antagonist of the film is not the virus but a man. Federico Luppi (Cronos, Devil’s Backbone) plays Zanutto who represents the terror of the virus as he ends up shooting and killing indiscriminately. What Goldbart tried to show was how fast civilization breaks down during a crisis and in this way it’s not all that original as many movies have covered this topic but regardless the movie is still fun to watch.

The movie takes its time carefully developing its characters especially Coco. Coco starts off without a care in the world acting as nothing is happening and as things start building up he becomes more cowardly but by the end of the film he finds his courage and handles two men by himself who enter the apartment.

Overall the film is really well done. The directing was great with a well shot scene taking place in a garage only lit by a glow stick and gun fire. The acting is top notch with Luppi putting up a great performance as always and the rest of the cast are on the top of their game. The comedy bits are genuinely funny and well-spaced. The soundtrack was also great coming off as a mix between a Carpenter composition and an old school Italian horror film.

If you are in the mood for a foreign language horror-comedy film then there are few films that will satisfy. Phase 7 is one of those films, with its humorous dialogue and gory sequences, 3 ½ out of 5

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