Imagine SHAUN OF THE DEAD without zombies set in Argentina or a comedic version of REC and you’ll pretty much get the tone of PHASE 7 which refers to the most extreme case of emergency for a contagion to occur on a national level. Much like SHAUN OF THE DEAD, the lead characters (played by the mutton chopped Daniel Hendling and the very pregnant Jazmin Stuart) are oblivious to the world falling apart around them until the very last minute. While folks armor up their vehicles and loot groceries for supplies, the couple go about their normal existence. PHASE 7’s strength lies in these performances by these likable actors who endear themselves to the viewer by showing real emotion toward one another despite the quirks both of them possess.
What makes PHASE 7 so strong is the culture it is filmed in. There’s an air of polite sincerity in the tone, lines, and posturings of all of the Argentinean actors in this film, who are trapped in this building. Though the situation is absolutely dire, composure and manners are always remembered while the characters interact with each other. Even when the government shuts down the apartment complex, the tenants politely answer questions and accept what the government explains to them. Had this been an American film, I’m sure the tenants’ reactions to the government lockdown would not have been so cordial.
But manners begin to fray at the edges the longer the tenants are trapped in the building. With only TV and radio reports to let them know what’s going on outside of the apartment, the tenants begin turning on one another. Again, like SHAUN OF THE DEAD, while things start out almost farcical, the tone shifts to dire towards the end. Like SHAUN OF THE DEAD, PHASE 7 seems to be commenting on how much is taken for granted as well in society and how we often walk around so wrapped up in our own problems that we don’t notice the world crumbling around us. It’s a effective film focusing on a small story during a large scale problem. Though played for fun most of the time, when things get serious and bloody, it’s all the more shocking due to the abrupt change in tone. PHASE 7 is definitely yet another winner from Bloody Disgusting Selects! Check out Bloody Disgusting for dates and places this darkly comical tale can be seen.