Patient Zero (2016) (DVD film review).

If you get bitten, you have 90 seconds before developing this strain of rabies and attacking anyone in sight. If you aren’t eaten then you become part of the pack to spread the disease. There is no cure…so far!

In an American military bunker, a medical team, led by Dr. Gina Rose (actress Natalie Dormer) is still trying to find a cure. Colonel Knox (actor Clive Standen) is the commander in charge. They see possibilities because Morgan (actor Matt Smith) had been bitten but hadn’t been turned but can communicate with the infected.

The ones they’ve captured are all locked up in cells. Among them, Morgan’s own wife, Janet (actress Agyness Deyn) who is being given a serum created from her husband’s blood with the hope it might cure her. You wouldn’t want even one of them loose. Those that aren’t changed tend to be eaten. They are hunting for patient zero or the original, the first person infected, hoping he or she is the clue to a cure.

Oh, the infected are not keen on loud music and the latest capture says this patient zero is in Minnesota. One of the new captives, formerly a professor (actor Stanley Tucci) once captured talks reasonably and isn’t affected by music and even smokes a cigarette. This doesn’t mean the regular humans can understand him. He tells Morgan that he sees the infected as superior to man, who then realised he’s being played. The rest is spoiler and if you need more, then you have to avoid being bitten and get your own copy.

I’m puzzled. As the only one bitten but not turned, Morgan himself should be regarded as a patient zero in his own right. I wrote that comment while watching the film and I’m right but from the wrong perspective. Don’t think you can’t think while watching this film although I do have to wonder on some of the general incompetence of this military unit towards the end of the film. Without going too spoiler, you would think the bunker would have been better protected, if only to have music played as a deterrent.

Shame the last few scenes are filmed into too much darkness to see what’s going on. Although the film isn’t totally mindless horrific, you have to draw comparisons to other films of a similar vein but it’s hardly something that can be avoided. With the exception of Natalie Dormer, whom I presume is supposed to be British, all the other cast do credible American accents. It’s only at the end of the credits that you discovered it was all filmed at the Shepperton Studios, so if you’re buying this DVD you’re supporting a British product. Don’t get infected.

GF Willmetts

October 2018

(region 2 DVD: pub: Sony Pictures. 83 minute film. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ASIN: B07H12Y9NG)

cast: Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, John Bradley, Clive Standen Stanley Tucci and Agyness Deyn

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