“Contracted: Phase 2” is the 2015 sequel to the 2013 film “Contracted”. The original was directed by Eric England who had a part in making the slasher “Madison County”. “Contracted” starred Najarra Townsend who also was in “The Toy Soldiers” and Caroline Williams who played Dr. Maple in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween II”. It was about a girl who contracts an STD that turns out to be a zombie type virus. “Contracted: Phase 2” had a mostly new cast including the director who was Josh Forbes. This is Forbes’ first feature length film, but in the past he has directed a few shorts. Our main protagonist here is played by Matt Mercer who was actually in the first “Contracted”. “Contacted: Phase 2” is written by Craig Walendziak who also helped produce the 2015 horror film “He Never Died,” which is actually a pretty cool movie that I would recommend watching.
The film has the same basic premise that the first one did. A STD is taking over Los Angeles and turning people into crazed zombie like creatures while our hero is working to defeat it and save the world from total devastation. Having already seen “Contracted” I basically new what I was in for before watching. Some might say this is just another cash grab sequel that is all too familiar in the horror movie business these days. I can see where that is coming from, however, I would say that this is a very good sequel and is actually better than the original. The makeup and effects on the zombie-like people is fantastically done. I am not saying that this film is about to win all kinds of awards for it, but it’s definitely not amateur.
“Contracted: Phase 2” flips the script from the original in the fact that the main infected person is a man instead of a woman. The pacing here is great too. Even if you just watched the first “Contracted” moments before popping this disc in, you’ll not be bored. We get shown how quickly the virus is spreading and hunting for the first person to contract it. I honestly never really see how finding “patient zero”, as Max Brooks put it in his book “World War Z” (which is WAY better than the movie by the way), would be beneficial. I mainly see it as a cookie cutter plot point used to extend the story when the team behind the film has no creative ideas.
Speaking of creativity, that is something this film lacked severely. Not even mentioning how it’s almost the same as the original, “Contracted: Phase 2” is just another run of the mill horror film that brings nothing new or creative to the table. I know these days it is very difficult to find people with enough creative talent, let alone get them all together to work, so I will give them a slight pass here. Hollywood has slowly been falling off the horror movie trail as of late too. This film is just further proof that we really need to step up our horror game if we want to compete with the things places like France, South Korea, and Japan are putting out. Hollywood has its recent gems in the genre here and there but it is becoming all too rare.
“Contacted: Phase 2” may be another thorn in the side of good horror movies, but as I mentioned above, it is definitely better than the original “Contracted” in literally every way. We have better acting, sets, writing, and everything in between. It is also the directors first feature length film so it is even more impressive. Yes, there have been way better directorial debuts, but I won’t let that overshadow this mans work of art.
To end, “Contracted: Phase 2” is one of those popcorn flicks you watch with friends when you’re bored. It is a decent film that is sure to entertain your more casual horror viewers that are not into the heavier side of the genre. I give this one a 5.5/10 and do recommend you watch the film and choose it over the first “Contracted” if you have to pick between the two.