Phase 7 (Fase 7)
Dark pandemic tale from Argentina
This article is from 2011.
There’s a vague ‘pandemic/apocalypse’ theme in this year’s EIFF programme (with talks and screenings of the likes of 28 Days Later, The Divide and The Terminator) and Phase 7 is the first to raise its diseased head above the parapet.
As a global epidemic hits Argentina, Coco (Daniel Hendler) and his heavily pregnant wife Pipi (Jazmin Stuart) find themselves quarantined within their apartment block, but soon realise it’s not the airborne sickness but the neighbours that are the real threat, especially as resources start to dwindle.
Hendler and Stuart make a very believable couple, while Yayo is excellent as the paranoid neighbour who finally sees his fantasies become reality. As claustrophobia and violence escalate, Federico Luppi steps to the fore, shotgun in hand, seeking revenge on various attackers.
There’s nothing here we haven’t seen before when addressing this theme, but focusing on a small group of people as a microcosm of the world at large gives the apocalyptic events a human edge, even if the ending is too neat and a trifle clichéd. Entertaining, but certainly not ground-breaking.