• Phase 7

    Released by: Bloody Disgusting Selects

    Released on: October 4, 2011

    Year: 2011

    Nicholas Goldbart
    Cast: Daniel Hendler, Yayo Guridi, Jazmin Stuart, Federico Luppi

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    The Movie:

    Nicholas Goldbart’s movie Phase 7 begins when a scruffy, slacker-ish young man named Coco (Daniel Hendler) and his wife Pipi (Jazmin Stuart), seven months pregnant, return from a grocery shopping excursion to find that some sort of contamination has spread and that the government has quarantined their building. If this sounds a lot like [REC]. that’s because it’s almost exactly like [REC], at least for the first fifteen minutes or so.

    Once the building is on lockdown, the various inhabitants are told to stay in their apartments and keep to themselves until the feds can figure out what to do about the situation. While Pipi more or less keeps to herself in the apartment, Coco is asked by neighboring Horacio (Yayo Guridi) to help out. It seems that one of their neighbors, Zanutto (Federico Luppi), might be infected – or he might not be – but some of the more impulsive men in the apartment are using that as an excuse to get rid of him and horde his belongings and supplies.

    Before you know it, Horacio has let Coco in on a government plot to control the population and the two are turning their floor into a veritable fortress to keep the less balanced folks who live in the building away from their turf. But is Horacio right on all of this or is he a paranoid whack job conspiracy theorist? And how far will Coco have to go to protect himself and his wife?

    Once you get past the opening sequence and look past the fact that the setup really is borrowed from the aforementioned [REC], this turns out to be an interesting little low budget thriller. There are times where the production values aren’t exactly stellar and moments where things could have been done with a bit more style than they are here but by focusing on character development rather than splatter Goldbart’s film manages to entertain. Likeability is the big factor here – despite the fact that he goes by the inherently irritating name of Coco, our central and unlikely hero seems like a pretty decent guy. Sure he’s a bit of a slacker and maybe a bit misanthropic at times but he cruises around in his worn out S.O.D. shirt and enjoys playing with his facial hair so we can’t fault him too much. He reacts to the crisis much the way many of us would, with initial skepticism and distrust. It’s only once he’s ‘enlightened’ by Horacio that his outlook starts to change and while he understandably has his doubts about the conspiracy theories he’s educated on by his neighbor’s worn out VHS tape, he does start questioning things, much to the dismay of his wife.

    The movie zips along at a good pace and never overstays its welcome and it adds in some welcome and completely appropriate bits of humor as it eventually starts to ramp things up and get more intense. Not a perfect film, and not the flat out horror movie that the packaging makes it look like (there’s very little gore here and no inhuman monsters) but it’s a fun way to kill an hour and a half and at times particularly clever.


    The 2.35.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer on this disc isn’t bad at all. The color scheme employed in the movie is a bit on the bleak side because almost the entire movie takes place inside an apartment complex but there’s enough color from the different pieces of wardrobe and pieces of furniture in the background that it winds up looking rather good in that regard. There’s a bit of shimmer here and there and some mild aliasing but no problems with compression artifacts to note.

    The Spanish language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix is also of pretty decent quality, spreading the effects and the score around with some slick style and demonstrating properly balanced levels from start to finish. The optional English subtitles are clean, clear and easy to read. Gun shots have some nice punch to them and the quieter moments that Coco and Pipi share crisp and clear dialogue.

    Extras are slim, limited to trailers for a few other Bloody Disgusting Selects titles and a trio of deleted scenes. Menus and chapter stops are also found on the disc.

    The Final Word:

    This one starts off as a complete rip off of [REC] but quickly finds its own footing and winds up an interesting and character driven study of increasing paranoia and distrust. The DVD looks and sounds pretty good and even if the extras are disappointingly slim, this is one worth checking out.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Roderick's Avatar
      Roderick -
      Will I be able to follow the story only having seen Phase IV? Do they explain what happened to all the ants?
    1. Barry M's Avatar
      Barry M -
      You're thinking of THE TENTH LEVEL, with Shatner and the spiders.