Friday, March 25, 2016

Contracted: Phase II – So It Continues

Length: 78 minutes
Release Date: September 4, 2015
Rating: NR
Director: Josh Forbes

When I saw Contracted originally, I thought I would never have sex again. Luckily for my boyfriend, that didn't last long. When I heard there was a sequel, I went in expecting to see the same kind of gore and unsettling scenes from the first film.

Despite having a completely new director, Contracted: Phase II picks up exactly where the first one ended. Samantha climbs out of her car completely infected and freaks out. We then cut to Riley, her poor unfortunate lover from the first film. After what happened between the two of them, he wisely decided to get checked out. The doctor takes some samples and tells him that STDs don't typically affect men in the same way they do women. He then heads home where he lives with his grandmother and drinks from her glass without thinking.

Throughout the film, he flashes back to the events from the previous movie. We learn that after finding his close friend's (Alice's) dead body, Alice came back to life, tried to attack him, and he killed her. He also flashes back to the sex he had with Samantha and reveals that he actually saw her having sex with BJ, the man who infected her, that night outside the party. Though he does meet someone new, he's hesitant to start anything up with her until the doctor calls and tells him he has a clean bill of health. We all know this is wrong.

At the same time, Crystal Young joins the cast as the detective in charge of figuring out what the hell is happening. Young is a little suspicious of Riley but believes his story that he's just an innocent bystander. Despite us learning that the cops caught BJ in the last film, we now learn that he's still alive and still “hunting” others, which eventually leads to Riley trying to track down the man too in the hopes of stopping the infection and saving himself.

Don't get me wrong, Contracted: Phase II has some – excuse the pun – killer parts. You cannot possibly watch Riley in the doctor's office trying to squeeze puss out of the scratches that Samantha left on his back without wincing. The same holds true of a few key scenes between him and his new lover after he infects her and with what happens to his poor grandmother. When I think of the first film though, my stomach literally turns. There are moments from that film, like with fingernails, that make me want to look at pictures of cute puppies and kittens online. Contracted: Phase II doesn't have quite the same effect, which I why I can't understand how it has a higher rating online right now.

I will give props to Matt Mercer though. His Riley in the first film was more of a background character than anything else. He was that sad and mopey guy we all know who has a crush on some chick he'll never land. Mercer's Riley in the second film really comes into his own. We see that while he might be a little pathetic, he generally is a good guy and cares about the people in his life, though he doesn't necessarily go about things in the right way.

When Contracted: Phase II ended, the roommate – my boyfriend refuses to watch either film because of our descriptions – looked at me and said he liked the first one better. While I have to agree, it does have some good moments. Even if you aren't a fan of the film, the ending makes it all worthwhile. Here's hoping we get some resolution in another sequel.

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