Shock, MA, 78 Mins
This follow-up to 2013’s horror epic Contracted, which attempted to show how a zombie-cum-28–Days–Later-type virus could be created (and then left us hanging), is both grosser (with plenty of blood-spurting bites and goozy zom-festiness, as well as a maggoty autopsy) and sillier, with an edge of yukky comedy that doesn’t really work and proves somewhat at odds with the starker, if no less dopey, first outing.
Opening with the end of the first film, as the infected Samantha (Najarra Townsend) claims her Mum (cult fave Caroline Williams in the flashback, although it seems not to be her in the close-up) as her first victim, we then cut to Riley (Matt Mercer), the guy who Samantha had grisly sex with midway through the original. And he’s certainly regretting it, as his body starts to putrefy and he’s driven to seek help from several parties, while also apologising to Harper (Anna Lore), an unfortunate nurse who found him inexplicably attractive and happily snogged him without realising he was turning zombiesque.
Directed by Josh Forbes (taking over from the original’s writer/director Eric England), this irritates on several levels (Mercer’s irksome performance and his Riley’s essential dumbness), and yet genre fans and drooling gorehounds probably won’t mind too much as the high-impact ickiness sets in.