Contracted (2013) and Contracted Phase 2 (2015) Horror Movie Review


The horror genre has long been a canvas for filmmakers to explore the deepest fears of the human psyche, and body horror stands out as one of the most visceral sub-genres that taps into our fear of losing control over our own flesh. “Contracted” and its sequel “Contracted: Phase II” are two films that delve into this unsettling theme with a narrative that is as much about the horror of disease as it is about the horror of societal judgment.

“Contracted,” directed by Eric England, presents a thought-provoking and cringe-inducing tale of a young woman named Samantha who, after a sexual encounter, begins to suffer from a mysterious and grotesque illness. The film is a harrowing exploration of isolation and desperation, with a performance by Najarra Townsend that captures the terrifying transformation her character endures. Critics have noted the film’s ability to grip the audience from the start, maintaining a sense of dread until its bitter conclusion.

The sequel, “Contracted: Phase II,” picks up where the first film left off, following the spread of the disease to new victims. However, the sequel, directed by Josh Forbes, has been met with mixed reviews. Some critics appreciate the continuation of the story and the expansion of the universe established in the first film, while others feel that it fails to delve into the deeper themes presented in “Contracted,” instead focusing on the more superficial aspects of the body horror elements.

Both films have been praised for their makeup effects, which are central to the body horror experience. The visual representation of the disease’s progression is undeniably disturbing, serving as a stark reminder of the fragility of the human body. Yet, where “Contracted” succeeds in using its horror to reflect on issues such as sex-negativity and slut-shaming, “Phase II” is seen as lacking the same depth, with a narrative that some critics describe as aimless and characters that fail to evoke the same level of empathy as Samantha did in the original.

In conclusion, “Contracted” stands out as a strong entry in the body horror genre, offering a compelling and unsettling story that resonates with real-world fears. “Contracted: Phase II,” while not without its merits, may not reach the same heights as its predecessor but still offers a continuation of a narrative that will satisfy fans looking for more of the grotesque and the macabre. For those with a penchant for body horror, these films are a testament to the genre’s ability to horrify and fascinate in equal measure.

In the Nutshell

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Genre: Disease

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