Cargo is a zombie film – supposedly filled with gore, scary bits, and tension. Which it is. However, unlike your stereotypical low budget Z movie, Cargo has some real, raw emotions presented by all the characters; accompanied by some absolutely stunning shots of rural Australia. Some scenes in this film are beautiful – human beautiful and scenic beautiful.
It starts with a family of 3, Andy (Martin Freeman), Kay (Susie Porter) and their baby daughter Rosie (played by something like 4 separate babies, because child labour laws exist for a reason).
We find our threesome slowly flowing down a waterway on a riverboat, which (it is soon implied) is not theirs (ie: they’ve knicked it). They then discover another young family camping on shore, with the father being played by Andy Rodoreda; the actor who portrayed Martin Freeman’s character in the original Tropfest short that THIS film is based on.
Which must have been a weird experience for him, but if he wanted to hold onto his part, he should have been more famous. Its called show business and not show charity for a reason…
Anyway – from Andy & Kay’s dialogue and various other tell-tale signs – like Rodoreda threatening Freeman off with a gun (probably because he stole his role…) we get the impression an apocalypse of the Z kind has happened, and humanity is hanging by a thread with survivors quickly running out of options.
That’s when “the incident” happens (which you just KNEW it would) that changes everything between Andy and Kay (and their daughter). And soon incredibly tough decisions of the “what would you sacrifice” kind have to be made. What would you do? And perhaps more importantly…what wouldn’t you do…?
It is this theme that fuels the movie, and it takes a powerful performance to pull it off. With Freeman they get it.
Set against the backdrop of Australia’s unique beauty, it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the cinematography. From a native plant in the corner of the screen, to the sun accentuating the features of the actors; every frame is truly a painting.
Cargo is a well thought out, beautiful, tension filled zombie film that will do something very few horror flicks can, because whilst the best ones make you scared or tense, very few can also make you cry. Cargo will do all three.
- Charlie Owen.