At last an infection themed movie that has nothing to do with zombies. Thanks, Spain! This movie actually came up as a recommendation to yesterday’s movie, The Returned. Which is weird since this has absolutely nothing in common outside of the notion that people are infected with something. Still, the concept of severe agoraphobia as a global illness is one of the more interesting ideas I’ve heard of.
Our main characters in this are Marc, an average programmer drone working for a large company, and Enrique, the person that large company hires to make sure the behind schedule project actually gets finished. When the world begins to experience a sudden outbreak of agoraphobia so severe that it causes fatal panic attacks, the two of them end up working together to try to leave their office building and find their loved ones. Specifically, Marc is trying to reunite with his girlfriend that he had a fight with right before everything went to shit.
The development between Marc and Enrique is so well done in this. You get a lot of flashbacks to before “The Panic” happened and how things developed the way they are at present. You have these wonderful reversals of power in the office and this great tense relationship where you at first aren’t even really sure you will be able to trust Enrique. Eventually they become friends with scenes that don’t seem forced at all and really make the relationship seem like a natural outgrowth of the situation. The actor that plays Enrique, Jose Coronado, is especially good in this. Even through the subtitles, you get a great range of emotion and his reactions to things are done really well.
One of the best things in this movie is the cinematography. There are so many beautiful set pieces in this film. Some are just great shots of empty streets and torch lit halls (there is a scene that makes a sewer seriously look like the Mines of Moria). Other times you get these inventive constructs of people faced with this crises, like a giant torch-lined barricade made out of shopping carts that walls off the grocery section of a shopping mall from the savages that live on the upper floors. The movie also makes rain into such a wonderful, joyous event with all of these shots of just the windows as various makeshift poles with buckets and pots are extended out into the downpour.
I give this movie a 4.5 out of 5. It was extremely novel and interesting to me but even just the visuals alone were worth the watch.
Favorite thing in the movie: They don’t ever explain what it is that actually causes The Panic.
Least favorite thing: The ending, while not horrible, was probably the weakest point to me and seemed a little too “the children are our future” for my tastes.