Carrier, The (UK DVD)

The Carrier UK DVD

The Carrier DVD 2D Image 212x300 - Carrier, The (UK DVD)Starring Edmund Kingsley, Jack Gordon, Josie Taylor, Joe Dixon, James Payton, Karen Bryson

Directed by Anthony Woodley

Distributed by Altitude Film Entertainment

Actor Jack Gordon doesn’t seem to have much luck on planes. After suffering the tortures of a demented killer in the sky in 2011’s Panic Button, he once again finds himself menaced on board a giant flying metal tube – this time, by a deadly global pandemic that has brought the human race to its knees.

Society has all but collapsed, and as the infected are summarily terminated without prejudice on the ground, Craig (Gordon) and his fellow bunch of survivors take to the skies in a 747 hoping to avoid the infection and perhaps make it to somewhere sickness-free.

Unfortunately, this being a genre film, the infection is in fact on board – leading to death and disagreement amongst the inhabitants of the airplane. Most want nothing but to survive, others seem to have given up hope, whilst the intimidating Eric (Dixon) believes that none of them should ever set foot on land again for risk of spreading the contagion further.

A low budget independent feature, funded mainly through Kickstarter, The Carrier often makes it clear to see just how much effort and spunk has gone into its creation. Yet, despite the best efforts of cast and crew, the script routinely fails to rise above the level of generic low-key disaster formula with a touch of zombie-like elements.

Make no mistake; the infected here aren’t crazed, bloodthirsty monsters… they’re simply desperate people, rendered hideously disfigured by the contagion, clinging to life by any means necessary – but their particular perspective is rarely explored in any depth, the narrative seeming to believe that a single moment of emotional connection with one of them is enough to get that message across. Sadly, it isn’t.

There’s a strongly topical idea at the core of The Carrier — that of a fatal, antibiotic-resistant infection quickly overtaking the human race – which should give all of us pause for thought towards the future of medicine… but again, this sinks into the background as the story plods along through an ill-advised second half that takes place entirely on the ground and brings the drama and tension grinding to a halt. So much for an air-based shocker.

Besides the narrative failings, The Carrier’s cast are all on point. Ed Kingsley is strong as the determined pilot who (unsurprisingly) turns out be a self-absorbed toff, whilst Gordon does his everyman thing with the usual aplomb. Northern Irish actor Billy Clarke (previously seen in the cracking The Devil’s Business) is as great as can be expected, whilst the female cast, including Josie Taylor and Karen Bryson, do their best to bring some spark to their threadbare characters.

Shouldering much of the tension is Joe Dixon as Eric. Being the supposed antagonist determined to ensure that none of the survivors manage to spread the plague elsewhere, it feels most damning of The Carrier that by the time the third act is swinging around, the prospect of him murdering every other character and getting things over with is much more appealing than anything else the film could do to salvage itself at that point.

So, check your passport’s valid because we’re taking a one-way flight to Pun City: The Carrier is a respectable, if sub-par, indie thriller with a few good ideas behind it… but it just never takes off.

On the special features front, Altitude Film Entertainment bring The Carrier to UK DVD sporting an 11-minute featurette that takes apart the impressive amount of creative effects work that was used to bring the film to life. It’s a real eye-opener and indicative of the hard work that went into creating the final product.

Next to that, there’s a 30-minute “making of” featurette that does everything it needs to do for such a supplement – plenty of on-set footage and interviews abound. There’s also a selection of deleted scenes that were (wisely) excised for pacing reasons, the film’s trailer and a feature audio commentary with director Anthony Woodley, producer Luke Healy and actor Jack Gordon. It’s a good listen given that, as is generally expected for independent films such as The Carrier, all involved have plenty of stories to tell about the adjustments, challenges and creative decision-making that went on throughout the film’s creation. Sadly, it isn’t quite strong enough to make a re-watch of the movie itself much of a recommendation.

Special Features:

  • VFX Featurette
  • Making of Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailer
  • Audio Commentary

  • Film
  • Special Features
User Rating 3.08 (12 votes)