Friday, October 10, 2014

"Retreat", UK horror film from 2011, seems applicable now to pandemic fears as Ebola-like disease goes airborne

It seems interesting that Sony, Samuel Goldwyn, and Magnolia Pictures (Magnet) all have their hands in the Welsh horror film “Retreat”, which seems timely now given the worldwide explosion of Ebola virus.  The premise of the film reminds one of the “28 Days Later” movies.  The film, released in October 2011, is directed by Carl Tibbetts. 
A nice young couple, architect Martin (Cillian Murphy) and journalist wife Kate (Candie Newton) rent a cottage on an offshore island from Doug (Jimmy Yuill), to get away from it all (and repair their relationship after a miscarriage).  But a fall extra-tropical storm hits and the generator fails, and help is slow in coming.  Then a soldier Jack (Jamie Bell) is found washed up on the shore.  When they bring him in, Martin finds a gun, which he tries to hide. When Jack recovers enough, he tells them that the whole world is engulfed by what sounds like an airborne version of Ebola (it’s called ”R1N16”).  Jack insists that the house be sealed, and starts to behave aggressively.  We get an idea of his temperament from some well-placed tattoos. 
Is he to be believed?   Perhaps the occasional sound of aircraft above should be fair warning. Well, this may be a movie where “not all ends well”, in fact very little.  They say civil liberties mean nothing if “everybody’s dead”.  Would the government really kill civilians to “spare the rest of the world”?
There is a scene where Martin has asthma attacks (playing into the Enterovirus 68 idea, belatedly), but when he starts bleeding out, that is evidence that he’s got the virus.  The soldier says that the government used him as a “lab rat”.
The official site is here

I viewed it from a Netflix DVD.  The film can be rented from Sony on YouTube for $9.99.  The DVD has a "Making Of" featurette.  
Wikipedia attribution link for picture from Scottish uplands  I think the script mentioned Scotland rather than Wales (where it was actually filmed). 
I visited  Scotland by train in November 1982.   The film clocks at exactly 90 minutes, as if intended for TV, but it is also wide anamorphic. 

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