Tag Archives: Piper Perabo

Saturday Screamer: Carriers

Carriers (2009)

by Hope Madden

Chris Pine plays against type in this 2009 pandemic horror currently streaming on most platforms including Netflix.

Pine plays Brian, a hardened young man who believes he may be immune to the virus that has decimated the global population. But, just to be safe, he chalks his survival up to a handful of rules he keeps. He also enforces these rules with three fellow survivors: his girlfriend Bobby (Piper Perabo), his little brother Dany (Lou Taylor Pucci), and Danny’s friend Kate (Emily VanCamp).

Following Brian’s rules to the letter (or else), the four cross the country in search of the childhood vacation destination the boys feel sure is a safe, quiet place to ride out the apocalypse.

Writers/directors/brothers David and Alex Pastor tread some familiar territory here, but their even-handed approach and ear for authentic relationships make for an involving and ultimately moving horror. Character behaviors rarely challenge believability, and the performances suit characters who’ve been dealing with this problem and with each other longer than the audience is aware.

There’s a natural pull between Danny and Bobby: the desire to just survive and the dread of surviving alone, a reluctance to do the wrong thing and yet an even stronger reluctance to wind up the sole survivor.

Character relationships have a real lived-in quality, which gives the film an emotional heft you may not be ready for. Pine, in particular, excels in a role quite unlike those he’s more famous for.

The body horror is effective, but it’s not the real source of horror.

As in all outbreak/infestation/apocalyptic flicks from the earliest Romero to the upcoming Quiet Place 2, this film understands that desperate humans are at least as dangerous as the cause of the pandemic. Interestingly, run-ins with other survivors, both the good and the bad kind, are played in Carriers with a real mixture of terror and sympathy. It’s one of the many reasons that the film delivers a harder emotional punch than you might be expecting.

Stay Down

Angel Has Fallen

by George Wolf

Olympus, then London, now Angel. They keep Fallen, must they keep getting up?

To be fair, Angel isn’t nearly the dumpster dive we took in London. It sports comic relief from Nick Nolte, a fun mid-credits stinger and a truly impressive performance from a baby.

Surrounding all that, though, is a pedestrian and all too often obvious gotta -clear-my-name frameup that underdelivers on the action front.

Gerard Butler is back as Secret Service hero Mike Banning, with Morgan Freeman returning to the franchise as now-President Trumbull.

Mike has headaches and insomnia after years of action, but debates leaving the field for a desk promotion. He is still great at knocking out all the baddies who are nice enough to walk blindly past a corner he’s hiding behind, but when there’s a drone attempt on the President’s life, Mike can’t keep his entire team from being wiped out.

Suddenly, mounds of incriminating evidence point to Mike as the would-be assassin, who then must leave his wife (Piper Perabo) and child (that baby is good, I’m telling you) and go full Bourne fugitive guy to root out the real villains.

Who wants the President dead? And why?

If the answers are supposed to be surprises, someone forgot to tell director Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch) and his co-writers, asAngel is telegraphed from many preposterous angles with all manner of heavy handed exposition.

And once Banning takes refuge with his long lost, off the grid, battle scarred Dad (Nolte), the attempts at debating the morality of war land with a thud of pandering afterthoughts.

Hey, if your just here for some mindless action highs, that’s fine, but Angel skirts them, curiously settling for repetitive shootouts and nods to first-person gaming enthusiasts.

Like Mike, this Fallen seems mostly tired. Even if it can get up, maybe it should reconsider.