Monday, June 5, 2006

Infection (Kansen) (2004)

Infection (aka Kansen) is another Japanese horror movie, but one that does not focus on creepy kids of long haired women. Instead, it deals with a horrific infection that starts to spread in a desolate hospital and the doctors that try to figure out how to stop it before they get infected. And really, that description just doesn't do justice to this terrific little film.

The infection starts when a patient is left by an ambulance at the hospital's ER, even though the hospital is taking no more patients. It seems the hospital is struggling financially - the staff hasn't been paid, medical supplies and drugs are getting sparse, and most of the patients have been sent home because of the hospital's inadequate facilities. A few of the staff members stay late to care for the few patients left, but strange things start to happen. The staff mistakenly kill a patient after injecting him with the wrong drug. To cover up their mistake, they decide to speed up decomposition so no trace of drugs will be found when an autopsy is performed. Meanwhile, this mystery patient with a strange infection is left on their doorstep. Soon, they discover that the infection is causing him to liquify into a green goo.

The infected patient disappears and the doctors are baffled since he has no muscular tissue left to move around freely. Soon, other staff are behaving oddly, and it is discovered that they too are infected. The survivors can't figure out how it is spread or exactly what the infection is, until it is too late. The ending is a little bit confusing and it will be especially confusing to anyone who hasn't seen or doesn't appreciate Asian horror films. It doesn't make too much sense, but I believe it makes the viewer think about one's perception of reality.

The film really sets up the atmosphere with the deterioration of the hospital. In the beginning of the film, the hospital is busy and bright, but as it progresses it gets darker, spookier and more empty. The green goo (and the noises of liquefying human flesh) are quite icky, for lack of a better word. There are some nice scare sequences, but it is mainly the dread throughout the film that is most effective. I did enjoy this film, even with its lackluster ending. If you are into Asian horror films, but want something different from the standard creepy child/long haired woman scares, look no further than Infection.

Buy it on Amazon!

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