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The zombie movie gets a fresh pair of legs in The Cured

Witty, wonderful and gruesome, director David Freyne’s flesh-eating film asks some interesting philosophical questions – as we cower behind the sofa

03 May, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Sam Keeley, as Senan, takes a swerve away from the usual zombie path in The Cured

Directed by David Freyne
Certificate 15

THE zombie film has gone through every nuance, twist, tweak and remix – surely there is nothing left to add to cinematic tales of rotten flesh-eaters taking over the planet?

We have had proper horrors, dystopian thrillers, comedies and war films, all springing from the simple idea of a staggering, stumbling, infected crew of the walking dead, intent on eating brains for tea as the earth turns into a wasteland.

So director David Freyne deserves a very long and boisterous ovation for taking the zombie concept and giving it a new pair of legs: Freyne has found another take on the traditional, and, in proper horror style, asks some interesting philosophical questions to boot as we cower behind the sofa.

A blood lust-inducing virus known as Maze has swept through Europe, causing those who are infected to viciously attack the healthy, crunching and munching on flesh and bone.

But – and here is where it takes a swerve away from the usual zombie path – they have found a cure that helps 75 per cent of all sufferers. But those who are cured remember exactly what it was like to be a zombie – not a nice proposition – while there are still those left for whom the treatment has been unsuccessful.

We meet Senan (Sam Keeley) as he finishes his treatment programme and is about to be integrated back into society. His friend Conor (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) is also allowed to leave the UN compound where they have been held.

Senan is offered a home with his brother’s widow (Ellen Page) while Conor is shunned by his father – we learn he did something horrific to his mother while infected.

Conor was, pre-zombie, a brilliant barrister with aspirations to be a politician, and he feels his loss of status keenly. Add to this the fact that the government is about to euthanise the remaining 25 per cent incurables, and Senan is working for a doctor (Paula Malcomson) desperate to help a patient she is intimately connected to, means the scene is set for a very original zombie film indeed.

Though The Cured has a low-budget, made-for-TV feel, this in no way detracts from the storytelling nor the performances. Witty, wonderful – and gruesome, Freyne has created a fun old debut feature.


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