WHAT WE BECOME. (2016) DIRECTED/SCREENPLAY BY BO MIKKELSON. STARRING TROELS LYBY, MILLE DINESEN, BENJAMIN ENGELL, ELLA SOLGAARD, MIKAEL BIRKKJAER, THERESE DAMSGAARD AND MARIE HAMMER BODA. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
'Stay home. Lock up. Don't breathe...'
This is a terrific Danish horror film that'll put you immediately in mind of a load of other horror movies, but not in a bad way, if you know what I mean. It's a zombie-apocalypse-virusy-epidemic-pandemic kind of film and, yes, we've all seen a million of those type of films, right? Yes, true enough, but I think it's the way the directors approach the subject matter that makes them different.
The recent success of TRAIN TO BUSAN proves that it's still possible to make a zombie apocalypse movie with a difference that people will want to watch in their millions. I think WHAT WE BECOME achieves that too but don't take my word for it. Let's take a peep at the plot. But gas masks on first, people. It's pretty damn toxic over there...
We're in the beautiful and gracious suburb of Sorgenfri now, folks, which I thought at first was in Sweden because everyone living there has variations on long blonde hair but which I guess is actually in Denmark, as it's a Danish film, after all.
Everything is peaceful and quiet and lovely. The people are all- mostly- blonde and perfect and wealthy and their houses are airy, spacious and fabulous. I hate them all, haha. I mean, why have they got to be so damned perfect over there? Surely it only accentuates the fact that we're a lot less serene and gracious over here in my house...? Ah well. It takes allsorts to make a world. Allsorts and sherbet and dolly mixtures and bullseyes...
What happens is this. A horrible virus breaks out in the town. The army and whatnot move in to make sure nobody leaves the area or comes into it, just like in RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR, another really excellent movie about a pandemic.
And, just like in RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR, the army guys cover the houses where people are infected with this scary black sheeting. They'll shoot to kill because they've got the safety of the country as a whole to think about, against which a handful of lives will be totally dispensable.
Our main family has a Dad, Dino, a Mom, Pernille, a cute little girl called Maj and a hormonal teenage boy called Gustav for whom the apocalypse is just an excuse to have sex with Sonja, the gorgeous brunette girl who's just moved in next door, the dirty beast.
Still, in the midst of death we are in life, isn't that what they say? When death is only around the corner, it's only natural that you'd reach out and grab the nearest person to you for a bit of comfort. Apparently, people often have sex after a funeral, believe it or not. In the midst of death and all that, just like I was telling you. It's to be hoped, of course, that they waited until they got home to do it. We don't want to scandalise any clergymen...!
Anyway, our little family of perfectly blonde Danish people are holed up in their beautiful home during the outbreak, along with their neighbours Casper and Anna and the girl Sonja and her Mum, who's been badly bitten by her husband. Yes, bitten...!
Clearly he was infected by the virus, so I'm sure you can guess what's going to happen in the house to Sonja's Mum. The repercussions are messy and bloody. The family may have to use Casper's rifle before the horrible virus can be contained...
The scariest scene for me was when the old lady down the road from our main family wakes up in the middle of the night to find she has a visitor in her house. That scene was absolutely bloody terrifying. Almost equally freaky is when Maj, the little daughter of our family, comes across that same old dear in the park when she's (Maj, that is) searching frantically for her rabbit, Ninus. Let's just say that the old lady is acting a little oddly these days...
The stuff with the military men in the gas masks is pretty hair-raising too. That's always been a
particular horror of mine, you know, getting infected during some kind of chemical warfare apocalypse or plain old zombie apocalypse and having the guys with the gas masks board up my house because leaving me to die (rather than have me escaping and maybe infecting others) is their only option?
That fear is captured really well in WHAT WE BECOME, especially in the scenes where the soldiers won't tell the family what's going on. They just bark orders at them from behind their creepy masks while pointing a rifle at them.
My other biggest fear, just for your information and personal edification, so to speak, concerning zombie apocalypses is being one of the few survivors of same, barricaded into my house, and then suddenly a mis-shapen shadow passes the front window and someone- or something- starts insistently rattling the door handle...
The good news is that this above-average zombie apocalypse film is enjoying a UK DVD release at the moment courtesy of SODA PICTURES: A THUNDERBIRD COMPANY.
It's tense and scary and it has people running every which way in it to escape the newly-created zombies, and of course they make all the usual stupid mistakes while they're barging hither and yon like headless bloody chickens.
The teenage Gustav, in particular, seems to have had his brain addled by all the sex with Sonja and commits the biggest 'ooopsie' possible in a zombie apocalypse, but whatever. That's his lookout. Anyway, I'm sure it's nothing a good old post-apocalyptic blowjob won't put right...!
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
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