BD Selects has done it again by picking up a title that’s guaranteed to find an audience but may not have the appreciation of the entire community. I’ve really liked everything that Bloody Disgusting has picked up so far (except YellowBrickRoad), each title is different and more unique than whats normally getting put on the market. That’s not to say there aren’t any problems with the films, but as a whole, they’ve really left an impression on me.
Enter Phase 7, an Argentinian sci-fi film that plays closely to similar films before it, yet takes another route all together. The story focuses on the characters of Coco and Pipi who are moving into a new apartment, Pipi is seven months pregnant. At the beginning we have Coco and Pipi buying groceries in an almost empty supermarket. They argue a bit over little things, when suddenly, people come pouring into the grocery store. This is what makes the film great because at this second, both characters look at the mob of people but they don’t talk about it, like it’s normal. They make their way home in the car ignoring the insanity around them, it’s not till Coco gets a phone call from his mom that he turns on the T.V. to find out what has happened. Turns out, there’s been a viral outbreak.
The apartment complex, due to reports of an infected person, is quarantined until further notice. What happens, is the expected breakdown of trust between survivors and eruption of violence. Coco now has to protect his wife and try to learn how to be assertive in this horrible situation that’s been given to him.
Phase 7 is not a film for everybody, let me just put that out there now. It’s a weird movie that’s kind of funny but at the same time it’s dark. Not a black-comedy either, just strange. The humor, mostly coming from Coco is much appreciated but feels as though they could have done so much more with that mindset. Coco is a great character, he adds humor and is not the heroine that you want him to be. He’s a bumbler, meaning he can’t quite do everything right or do them properly. Pipi plays a firecracker wife who challenges Coco all throughout the movie, making him more of a man than what we start with. Their next door neighbor named Horacio, is all stocked up for the apcoolylse and he teams up with Coco to help maintain peace in the complex.
This is not a horror film in the sense of what a horror film is. Phase 7 plays close to REC and Quarantine in terms of context but it’s not as graphic or horrifying as those titles. This suits me just fine because on this budget it seems that they weren’t able to do much with effects. When violence erupts or there is a call for gore, it’s not very good and is very noticeably fake. Phase 7 is more of a sci-fi film because it looks at the people aspect of the outbreak rather than the horror of it. It feels at times, something close to The Andromeda Strain. I don’t know why I have that feeling but it may have to do with the amazing soundtrack. The score for the film had me smiling with its retro pulse and synth heavy lines. It made the film feel like it was from another time period (like Hobo With a Shotgun does) but still is very much a contemporary title.
This is a film that I want to recommend with some hesitancy because it’s not for every movie lover. It’s a slow-burn film that takes its time getting to the end and not much goes on in terms of “events”(think of the film, Monsters). Meaning that there’s a story that is going on within a catastrophic event that really does not have much to do with the said catastrophic event (does that make sense?). It’s also a weird film with its oddball and sometimes ill-suited humor. I enjoyed Phase 7 more than I expect most people will but if you give it a chance, than you’ll find yourself a little gem.