'The Cured' (2017) - Zombie Movie Review
A virus called Maze has plagued Europe for years. Thousands of infected were turned into a feral state, displaying extreme violence and cannibalism.
However, by the time we are introduced to this story, the epidemic has been controlled. Of all the countries, only Ireland suffered terrible losses.
A cure for Maze made 75% of the infected return to their normal state. This sector, called the Cured, is slowly and progressively trying to be reinserted into society.
The remaining 25%, called the Resistant, remain in full zombie-infected mode and are confined to maximum security cells while the state decides what to do with them.
The two possible options for the Resistant are completely opposite: The first one is to found a new vaccine for them. And that will take some time. However, the lead scientist of that project, Dr. Lyons (Paula Malcomson), is completely positive about finding the cure in a relatively short time. Her motivation is also personal: her love partner is a Resistant.
The other option is, simply, to annihilate them. Give way to a massive process of euthanization of all the Resistant, and thus eliminating any possibility of an outbreak.
The story centers on a Cured named Senan (Sam Keeley) who is about to be reinserted into society, thanks to the benevolence of his sister-in-law Abbie (Ellen Page), who along with her little son Cillian have decided to receive him in her house. Both share the loss of Luke--Abbie's husband and Senan's brother--killed by an infected in the dark days of the Maze virus.
The Cured complicates (in a good way) the already interesting setting, introducing the character of Conor (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), another Cured that, according to some researches, was a kind of an infected "alpha" before being cured by the vaccine. That mean, he kinda controlled other infected.
The implications of being a Cured aren't entirely positive. First, it's revealed that the Cured remember absolutely EVERYTHING they did during their feral period of infection, which, of course, has resulted in many of them suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, recurring nightmares, and even suicide.
It's also revealed the fact that the infected communicated with each other in an almost telepathic, animal and intuitive kinda way. It's impossible for a human being to understand that type of communication maintained by the infected (communication that, by the way, only served to prey on other humans more effectively). The same Cured are still confused about this fact and don't feel completely human.
All this, plus the obvious paranoia of a relapse, has resulted in the Cured being treated with absolute contempt by the "healthy" society. "They treat us like lepers," says Conor, after not being able to even get a job with his father (Conor murdered his mother while infected in front of his family, so well, that's that).
The Cured then takes a route more of a social drama than of zombie horror. A more radicalized sector of the Cured, led by Conor, want to start taking "street actions" so that their rights are not violated and they can have a normal life.
Also, they defend the rights of the Resistant, with whom the Cured feel a strong empathy. Not only were they in that state before the vaccine, but there's the fact that the Resistant don't attack the Cured by considering them infected. All that will end up unleashing a social boiling point.
What's Your Rating For The Cured?
The political tone of The Cured is anything but subtle. It's practically impossible not to relate the story of a misunderstood sector of Irish society that decides to radicalize, with the bloody history of the IRA (Irish Republican Army).
They were not even subtle with the casting. Some months before The Cured was released, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor--who plays the radical Conor-- was the protagonist of Maze (same name of the virus, by the way), a film in which he played IRA leader Larry Marley.
But even without the logical association, The Cured makes a remarkable effort to develop an interesting political and social complexity in this zombie horror-drama.
In the end, The Cured cannot hide his love for the Status Quo. Conor is a too one-dimensional villain that kinda tainted the fair cause of the excluded.
However, Conor being a big bad villain wasn't a lazy decision. The scenario certainly has its thing: In real life, there are excluded and people outside the law who are simply sociopaths or whose resentful ego doesn't allow them to assume their own responsibilities. Yes, Conor is a product of the society to which it belongs, but many of its radical decisions only served to further aggravate the gap between the excluded and the privileged.
In that small and complex zombie sub-genre of the "undead reinserted into society", The Cured is, by far, one of the best movies. It's an interesting piece that, using the infected zombie, opens an interesting debate about resentment and the management of social crises.
Title: The Cured
Release Year: 2017
Director(s): David Freyne
Actors: Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor a.o.
© 2019 Sam Shepards