Movie Reviews 203 – Infection (2004)

InfectionThere are quite a few horror stories set either entirely in or primarily around a hospital setting.The sterile environment makes an excellent backdrop and the medical facilities are conducive to ‘examining’ unnatural living matter, something that can easily be used as a plot element. While these factor in Infection, the main interest and tension doesn’t come from the bacterial agent at hand, but rather comes from the quirks and eccentricities of the doctors and nurses.

The setting is no regular hospital but one on it’s last legs financially and which seems abandoned by all but the remaining skeleton crew of medical personnel. There is the insecure, ‘slow’ nurse that doesn’t seem capable of mastering the use of needles on patients. The head doctor just trying to keep the hospital afloat despite the fact that the administration is no longer even accepting his calls. The head nurse counting down the dwindling supplies, but is still a stickler for rules and regulations. The doctor who is fretting over the fact that he hasn’t received his latest pay and is in arrears with his child support payments. And the ‘doctor’ accused of such ineptness that he can’t even be trusted to suture a simple wound. And you thought General Hospital had soap opera drama.

This ragtag team faces it’s first crisis upon the death of a mysterious fully bandaged patient due to a dosage misunderstanding between a doctor and nurse at the peak an emergency. With some reluctance, everyone present decide to quarantine the dead patient into a unused room for a given amount of time after which the dosage mix up should be undetectable.

Compounding the death is the spread of some new virus or bacteria that seems to be sweeping the area. An ambulance radio operator keeps requesting any hospital to accept their current patient, each subsequent plea elevating the urgency and describing an ever worsening and spreading black rash on the patient in the ambulance. The doctor at the hospital rejects accepting the ambulance but the ambulance defies the rejection and simply abandons the gurney with the patient in the receiving area. The gurney is empty by the time the staff realize they’ve been saddled with the patient, but when they do find him he’s a pussing medical marvel that one of the doctors sees as an opportunity to study and possibly gain fame and notoriety as discoverers of some new disease.

Two plot points then intersect as the new patient and dead one both transform into putrid green slime pus mounds. After that, it’s every doctor and nurse for themselves.

Kansen” (original Japan title) is definitely an example of character over substance. In this case the substance being the mystery goo. While there is plenty of ‘liquefaction” and other shocking imagery, it doesn’t go too far over the top and relies more on drama and storytelling to deliver a solid movie. Well solid until it all liquifies into a green, oozing, …


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: