It might be a strange thing to comprehend, but a zombie film doesn’t have to be all blood and guts. Sure, those things are fun, but what’s more fun is flipping the genre on its undead head and giving it more. Take Netflilx’s Cargo. Released in May of this year, starring Martin Freeman, this zombie movie places the zombies as a secondary character. Instead we get a heartbreaking story of survival, one that will have you emotionally invested.
When a virus plagues the world with zombies, a couple must do the best they can to keep their one-year old daughter safe. Andy (Martin Freeman) and his wife Kay (Susie Porter) make a cozy home on a houseboat, traveling down the rivers of rural Australia. Though they have found themselves in a great position, they cannot escape the horrors of the new world.
Those horrors will deal a huge blow to couple after Kay finds herself bit. After succumbing to the virus within 48 hours, Andy must find a way for his daughter to survive. Especially when he finds himself in the throes of the virus. Andy meets a young girl on his journey named Thoomi, who will become his unlikely friend and savior.
There have been plenty of moments in film and television history, where zombie-related stories have gone beyond expectations. I’m certainly not one to discount them… except maybe World War Z, but that’s another story. With Cargo, the idea of zombies plays a minor part to the family drama. It takes a backseat to the incredibly moving performance by Freeman, and the sadness of losing your family and livelihood.
While it won’t scare you like a traditional zombie film, it’s one that will affect you in a deeper way. It’s juxtaposed by the beauty of the Australian landscape, and the horrors of what these people have been going through. I simply can’t recommend this film enough, even if it’s not your average Halloween-time flick.
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