Contracted: Phase II picks up directly where the first one ends; Samantha (Najarra Townsend) has come full circle with the disease and is gunned down in the street. It doesn’t take long for all of her interactions from the previous film to start having dire consequences. Riley (Matt Mercer, Madison County, Auteur) is now feeling the effects of the disease and races against the clock to search for a vaccine.
Man, oh man, did Josh Forbes and Craig Walendziak come out swinging? This sequel goes all out with a fantastic beginning to what could become a wonderfully thought out trilogy. Riley has discovered the bloodbath left behind by his friend and previous crush, Samantha. Now finding himself being questioned by police while fearing for his own health and safety, he must find out where the disease originated. Writer, Craig Walendziak, gave this film a tremendous pace that doesn’t allow you to settle in and get comfortable. Phase II is constantly giving us glimpses of more infected people in backgrounds and eventually directly in the paths of our main cast. Over the past few years, the zombie sub-genre has been stretched so thin that it’s almost impossible to tell an original story while remaining captivating enough for the “Romero” generation. We either get too much story and not enough zombies or an incredible amount of zombie killing and human evisceration with zero character development. The latter can make a movie feel more like a comic book, with all guts and no brains.
Contracted: Phase II manages to give us the perfect blend of interaction with entertaining characters and makes us fear for their safety. I can say that I didn’t like this one as much as the first, but only by a minuscule margin. Matt Mercer’s Riley is a sympathetic character with big problems, but I feel like I worried more for Samantha in the first film. That is the only reason that I give this film 3.5 maggots out of 5 instead of the 4 I gave to the first.