containment-film-2015My brief Empire review of Containment is online.  Here’s a slightly expanded version ….

One morning, putupon tower block-dweller Mark (Lee Ross) wakes up late for a custody hearing to find his door glued shut, the power off and doctors in HazMat suits prowling the estate.  Shaven-headed thug Sergei (Andrew Leung) and his perhaps-autistic astronaut-suited younger brother Nicu (Gabriel Senior) break through the thin wall of Mark’s flat, bringing along conspiracy theorist Aiden (William Postlethwaite) and his fed-up girlfriend Sally (Louise Brealey).  Soothing but sinister warnings issue from the entryphone, but the gang see would-be escapees shot down before they can become disease vectors and Sergei gets more out of control and aggressive, killing one ‘rescue worker’ and kidnapping Hazel (Pippa Nixon), a military medic who has only one dose of vaccine on her.  The small group of understandably jittery folk try to get through the crisis – which is supposedly down to a mystery virus outbreak, though the disease takes a long time to manifest and residents seem much more in danger of violence from the authorities or their neighbours than any bug.  It’s traditional in the likes of The Crazies, Right at Your Door, [REC], Contagion or Outbreak for the government goon squads in charge of tackling the plague are ruthless (and often helpless) but this interestingly shows how the imperilled ordinary citizens turn on each other – when Sergei boasts of capturing Hazel, it leads to a mob from the other wing of the block mounting a violent attack in the hope of securing information or drugs.  A concise Britflick from first-time director Neil Mcenery-West that makes good use of its confined setting and takes some unexpected turns within the familiar, grim lines of its epidemicsploitation plot.  There’s excellent support from Sheila Reid as crotchety little old lady Emid, who becomes the unusual heroine.  Mark, initially irritated by the old bat and keen to get on with his own pressing business, comes to look after the old woman and also to protect Nicu.  Made in Southampton, where life is CHEAP!


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