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Review: Infection (Kansen)

Lions Gate Films: InfectionFor some people, hospitals can be a very scary place. Hospitals can be a great source of discomfort for many, because they’re associated with pain, sickness and anguish. Outside of check-ups or the birth of a child, most people will only go when they’re sick or when someone they know is sick. When you think about it, even check-ups can be terrifying for people who hate needles and child-birth may be bad for some who have to watch it happen. All of those things may get to quite a few common people, but what about the doctors who have to work there? Do they fear anything that goes on? The Japanese horror film Infection tries to answer that question in its own way.

Infection is the first film in the J-Horror series to be released to the public starting back in 2004. It focuses on a group of doctors and nurses who are working at a hospital that’s almost completely empty. After Dr. Akiba (Koichi Sato) refuses to admit another patient for the overworked staff and an untimely death of another patient occurs due to an unknown infection, strange things start to happen involving everyone. A virus appears to be going around in the hospital and starts infecting the staff members. The staff needs to find out how to stop this mysterious virus, what caused it and if its even an actual infection in the first place.

There are a number of actors in this movie that have significant roles in this movie and they all get enough camera time to tell their stories. Each person in Infection is different and that makes for solid dialog and interaction between the people who have to consistently deal with one another. Some of the characters are passive and some are more aggressive, but just about all of these characters are classic examples that we’ve seen before. In the end, they all do their part in developing the film’s identity and are connected by the main plot when everything is tied together.

While not technically a character, the hospital in Infection plays a large part in the movie. It’s a dark, dirty and run-down place that’s low on money and understaffed. They use the hospital’s appearance to underline the depressed and negative state of the film, its characters and the situations that we are presented with. It ends up being the perfect backdrop for an unknown and mainly unseen force that is terrorizing a questionable medical staff that is attempting to deal with several things at once.

Infection is not something that would be considered a slasher type film or anything. It focuses on the horror, but also on the morals of the people, the way they treat each other and how their choices can affect themselves and others in the long run. This is a movie that you may not completely understand until the end of it. As it goes by, it’ll start to unveil more and more of its plot and you’ll probably begin to get you’re questions answered. It’s a good watch that has a little bit of a campy style to it and a lot of entertainment value.

Score: 3.5/5

Rating: R

Director: Masayuki Ochiai

Cast:
Koichi Sato
Masanobu Takashima
Yoko Maki
Shiro Sano
Tae Kimura
Kaho Minami
Mari Hoshino
Moro Morooko

Film Length: 98 minutes

Release Date: October 2, 2004

Distributor: Lions Gates Films

Country: Japan

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