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The Returned (2013)
Director: Manuel Carballo
Writer: Hatem Khraiche
Stars: Emily Hampshire, Kris Holden-Ried, Shawn Doyle
I, without watching the trailer, was expecting a regular stereotype zombie flick, but my expectation was broken and I was AMAZED. It was A THRILLER WITH A SOCIAL IMPACT.
Horror movies aren't a thing in our country and I for one would suggest watching this. The acting was amazing, and the story was well-written. I must say that this film is socially relevant.
I'll be discussing my analysis on the social impact of the movie so I would be discussing about the plot. If you don't like spoilers, I suggest skipping this part.
The movie is about a post-zombie world where being a zombie is a disease and a retroviral drug can prevent you into turning one. Once cleared, you become a "RETURNED" and will forever need to take the drug daily. A miss of the drug can cause you to have the symptoms and succeed in turning into a zombie. So the film depicted how part of the society discriminates the "returned". People would rather have them killed as they treat them as ticking bombs since the risks of missing a dose and infecting people is large. Another problem arises when the retroviral drug supply starts running out. The number of doses you have left will determine how many days you stay normal or how many days you stay "alive." The main character was left with a single dose, meaning that he only has a day to live. His wife, being a doctor, tried to get the last supply of doses left. She succeeded but the supply was stolen from her. Killing the thief, she also broke the doses. With only less than a day to live, the main character chained himself on the walls of his music studio and said his final words to his wife. He, then. asked her to kill him instead. In the end, we see that they have developed a cure, treating the "returned" forever, making her decision to kill her husband a waste where she could have given him the cure if she only knew.
Okay, now here's how it is socially relevant. It is a metaphor, for me, on HIV. Let the "returned" be the people living with HIV. We all know that, somehow, people ignorant on how HIV spreads and how HIV works on the human body discriminate and look down on people living with HIV. Some patients would rather kill themselves as they believe that they would die soon. We all know that there has no clinically available cure yet, but we also know that doctors and scientists are developing one as we speak. Global funds have been helping people living with HIV to get treatment to suppress the virus and make them live long as non-positive people for free. But what if the global fund starts to fall short? Doctors have told me that the treatment medicine costs A LOT. I mean A LOT. I know that being positive may change your lives forever since you have to take the medicine daily, and bearing the initial side effects of the medicine is HELL, but stay intact. Have hope. Maybe not even for yourselves but for the people who love you. It is painful, REALLY PAINFUL, losing someone you love, and just imagine how they would feel when they lose you. Even if you lose reasons to live, maybe live for them. Fight for them. Take the treatment and live a normal life. Who knows? We might get the cure soon. :)