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Film review: Contagion

27th October 2011

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Contagion is scary. But there are no ghosts, monsters or zombies. No, this is scary because of something much more real.

Contagion Contagion follows the outbreak of a deadly airborne virus which rapidly develops and evolves, killing millions along the way. As the public struggle to survive and morals continue to decrease, Scientists and Doctors strive to find a cure for the growing epidemic.

Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, this movie’s engrossing narrative is played out by a host of respectable performers.

Director Steven Soderbergh really hits homethat this is a chillingly realistic possibility leading the viewer to analyse their own day-to-day potentially dangerous actions - a hand-shake, a door handle, a bowl of peanuts at a bar, your mobile phone, touching your own face.

In parts it could be mistaken for a zombie thriller, with it's ongoing fear of the mouth foaming diseased and scenes of derelict shops and streets. But it is familiar aspects such as news headlines that drag the whole thing back to reality.

Jude Laws character, Alan Krumwiede, also touches on themes surrounding power and knowledge; how willing are those at the top prepared to go? This element, along with continued references to medicine and science, provides Contagion with its realistic and unsettling nature.

It's main achievement is it's creation of paranoia and in the cinema Buckets of popcorn remained untouched and coughs grew quieter. I couldn’t help but notice that in the toilets people were basically bathing in the sinks as they scrubbed their hands clean of anything 'deadly'.

Contagion is a smart, scary thriller. But it did all end too abruptly not satisfactory tying off the story - perhaps it's leaving itself open for Contagion 2? 


Creating a claustrophobic sensation of no escape, Soderbergh has managed to conjure up a new kind of fear and dread just in time for Halloween.

Hand sanitizer anyone?

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