Quantcast

Phase 7 (DVD Review)

Wait, what was that? Those were my ears burning. Bloody Disgusting and The Collective heard my plead for more horror films and they obliged me. Awesome! Phase 7 is an Argentinian film that can best be described like this, for lack of a better term(s) – it’s Shaun of the Dead meets REC meets John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13. It’s also executive produced by the same cats that produced Paranormal Activity, so that’s cool too. How will Phase 7 or Fase 7, as it’s called in Spanish, compare to those films that I previously mentioned? Let’s take a trip to Argentina and find out! 

 

Film

Fase 7 or as it is titled here Phase 7 is a horror thriller that tells the story of a grave epidemic that has taken over Argentina and various other countries. Coco (Daniel Hendler) and Pipi (Jazmin Stuart) are our protagonists. We meet them at the supermarket as they carry on their shopping with hilarious delight. Daniel is a slacker and she takes pleasure in busting his chops. She’s also very pregnant. Once they make it back to their flat they take notice that the epidemic has spread even faster than anyone imagined. Of course, they carry on with their bickering, which is still pretty hilarious.

It all escalates when members of a hazmat team arrive and begin to quarantine their building. Some of the neighbors which include Zanutto (Federico Luppi) gather to give the team their information. All seems to be going well until the various neighbors begin turning on each other. Coco is then forced to man up for the first time in his life in order to protect his wife and unborn child. He will join forces with another neighbor that has not been infected and they will take it to the hallways of their apartment complex.

Again, color me surprised, because Phase 7 is another killer entry to the Bloody Disgusting line of films. The major sticking point of Phase 7 is that it plays familiar, but is pretty unique that many of the possible situations happening in the outside world are only hinted at and never shown. Are there zombies or diseased folks running around? That’s left up to the viewer, because we don’t actually get to leave the building. The level of claustrophobia is insane. This is where the comparison to John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 comes into play. It’s a small group of people that are locked in and have to team up in order to stay alive. The main problem with that is that the enemy is within.

I was initially telling the guys at Why So Blu that Phase 7 played like Shaun of the Dead, but that wore off after the first twenty minutes or so, because it doesn’t really use slapstick humor. There is humor, but it’s played straight, if that makes sense.

It’s great to see Federico Luppi in a role like this, because if you’re familiar with his previous roles, you will see that he rarely ever gets to play someone like this. He also has a great presence. He was in Guillermo Del Toro’s Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, and Pan’s Labyrinth. He’s awesome.

The bits of social commentary that are injected throughout the film do not hit you over the head, but actually open your eyes to things that have been in the news recently-dealing with economic collapses, etc. Argentina, in general, has experienced many of these disasters in the past, so it is kind of fitting that they put it in a film where these things have spread over to other parts of the world. Topics include population control and the New World Order. There’s some pretty deep stuff here, so don’t take Phase 7 as some “dumb” horror flick. It’s got a very subversive brain.

Video

Phase 7 is presented in 480p (upconverted to 108op), 2.35:1, widescreen. Here is an image that features some bold colors early on, in the middle, and towards the end. Banding is an issue, but doesn’t affect the viewing experience. Dark levels are very consistent and remain inky. Contrast gets a bit of a boost, but again, it is not a distraction. Man, these DVDs from Bloody Disgusting are getting lots of love back at the processing plant, because they look better than some of the stuff the major studios have been releasing. I’m impressed. 


Audio

Phase 7 is presented in Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (with a lame English dub that you do not need) with English subtitles. And again, this DVD sounds terrific! There are many instances of violence and the speakers get a full workout handling the effects. In addition to the sound effects kicking butt, the pounding John Carpenter inspired music score ROCKS! It is aggressive and reminded me a bit of the Planet Terror score. Bring on a Blu-ray version with a lossless soundtrack and it will be on!

Special Features

Sadly, we only get a little over 8 minutes of deleted scenes. Not cool.

 

Final Thoughts

Phase 7 is a clear homage to various films that have come before it, but with the added bit of social commentary. It does not hit you over the head with it, but it does bring it to light. The story is cool and easy to follow and various bits of humor (the non-slapstick kind) help it bring the points home. I found myself laughing and chuckling in certain parts while being entertained and riveted in others. I wish I could give the DVD a much higher score overall, but the special features bring the score way down. Don’t let that scare you off, because Phase 7 is a winner!

 

 

Order Phase 7 on DVD!

Share

Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

Comments are currently closed.