Sleeping around can be a scary thing; I wouldn’t know, as I was good little boy (i.e. sheltered country boy), and Contracted goes to extreme heights to show you what could possibly happen (for the first hour that is), if you decided to have a one night stand with the wrong person. It’s a gruesome, gut wrenching movie, with some really effective suspense and tension buildup, that happens to squander it all in the last 20 minutes, which is a really fraking shame, as I was loving the movie.
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: A young girl has sex with a stranger at a party and contracts, what she thinks is, a sexually-transmitted disease – but is actually something much worse.
Tatlock’s Quick ‘n Dirty Recap: Sam heads to a friends party and gets pretty damn drunk and while stumbling around, she meets a man named BJ, who she is tricked into sleeping with (i.e. rape). Oh, by the way, did I forget to mention she’s a lesbian (not that is really important, but for those few out there, it might make you more interested in watching)? Anyway, the next day she awakes to a slight fever and cold chills and a rash has started to develop in her lady area. Nothing too bad so far, but as the day goes on and we move into day two, Sam is starting to fall apart, literally. What could possibly be happening to her and will we ever find out? The answer is a big fat NO.
Tatlock’s Opinion: Man, was I really enjoying Contracted. I was deeply invested in the plight that Sam was going through and the grossness factor was through the roof with her condition. I swear, there was one time where I had to look away, as it involved fingernails and I just can’t stand that. It was brilliant and mysterious filmmaking at it’s finest, as the story slowly develops and Sam’s condition worsens. Unfortunately, the movie decides to shit the bed in the last 20 minutes and here is why.
The build up of trying to figure out her disease, is what makes this movie special. The confusion that you share with Sam and the gross out scenes, make the viewing experience captivating. The mystery is boiling over and you’re starting to really get into the movie… and that’s when the movie takes a turn for the worse. Without going into spoilers, Sam, along with every other character in this movie, behave way beyond the realm of reality, acting incredibly oblivious to what is happening to her. I can’t figure out why no one was panicking and getting her to a hospital ASAP. Instead, they’re like, “wow you look awful, let’s make out.” It’s honestly an insult to the intelligence of the viewer and requires you to have a giant of case of suspended disbelief. Finally, the last few nails in the coffin that almost ruin the entire movie, is the actions of Sam at the end and the complete lack of resolution for the man at the beginning and why he was able to pass this disease on (please, having sex with a dead body wouldn’t cause this… I think. Don’t quote me on that, as I’ve never done that sort of thing before, but now that I realize with my rambling, you’re probably think I’m lying… ahem.) Anyway, yes, no resolution and a complete 180 for Sam, having her do some crazy shit that seems way out of character, is makes me bring the score down on a movie that was rocking it’s first hour.
Verdict: Contracted has an hour of brilliant mystery, tense moments and gross out scenarios that had me glued to the screen. Unfortunately, the movie squanders any hopes of being masterful, when the last 20 minutes rolls around and gives us wonky character changes, no solid conclusions and an ending that comes out of the left field and feels stale.