Monday, September 14, 2015

#1,855. Containment (2015)

Directed By: Neil Mcenery-West

Starring: Louise Brealey, Lee Ross, Sheila Reid

Tag line: "No water. No power. No explanation. No escape"

Trivia: This movie won the Accession Award at the 2015 East End Film Festival

Mark (Lee Ross), a struggling artist, wakes one morning to find the front door of his apartment sealed shut. But he’s not the only one trapped inside; his entire building has been locked down, as has the complex directly across the way. The plot thickens when a truck pulls up carrying several people in orange Hazmat suits. Soon after, the intercom system in Mark’s flat starts broadcasting a recorded message, telling him to sit tight and remain calm. Hoping to find a way out, Sergei (Andrew Leung), who lives with his younger brother Nicu (Gabriel Senior) in the apartment next door to Mark's, knocks a hole through Mark’s wall. Believing that strength in numbers might give them an advantage, Sergei breaks through a few more walls, allowing the elderly Enid (Sheila Reid) and young couple Aiden (William Postlethwaite) and Sally (Louise Brealey) to join their group. Together, Mark and his new friends try their best to escape, all the while wondering why they’ve been cut off from the outside world.

Directed by Neil Mcenery-West, 2015’s Containment kicks things off with a perplexing mystery (why is everyone being quarantined?), which grows even more puzzling as the movie wears on. Peering out the window, Mark, Sergei, and the others watch as the authorities round up residents from the building across from theirs, who are then led into a makeshift hospital tent. Yet, despite the fact they’re entirely in the dark as to what’s going on, the newly-acquainted neighbors soon know what they're up against when a young man, before entering the tent, makes a break for it, only to be gunned down by a sniper positioned on the roof. At that moment, the main characters (as well as the audience) realize that whatever is happening is pretty damn serious.

Without going too deeply into spoilers, Mark and the others do manage to uncover the truth, at which point they themselves must go on the defensive, running from their fellow residents, who also want answers. All at once, what had been an intriguing mystery becomes an effective thriller, with the main characters fighting for their very lives against an angry mob. A taut, suspenseful film that features some exceptional performances (Ross does a fine job as the lead, though it’s Reid as the outspoken Enid who steals the show), Containment will, from start to finish, have you on the edge of your seat.

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