Phase 7

Critics Consensus

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80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

50%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 538
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Movie Info

Coco (Hendler) has just moved to a new apartment with his wife Pipi (Stuart), who's seven months pregnant. At first, they don't seem to notice the growing chaos around them, but when authorities quarantine their building after a deadly pandemic breaks out, Coco joins forces with his off-kilter, but well-prepared and stocked next-door neighbor Horacio to defend his refrigerator and keep Pipi safe. Meanwhile, outside the building, Buenos Aires-and the world as the apartment denizens know it, is disappearing. The world is ending; got ammo? -- (C) Bloody Disgusting

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Critic Reviews for Phase 7

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Phase 7

  • Sep 15, 2013
    Crazy Argentines meet REC with John Carpenter style soundtrack. A strange blend of a dark comedy mixed with horror, a pandemic thriller and slapstick.
    William H Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2013
    <B><I>PHASE 7</B></I> (2011) Argentina; Spanish language, English subtitles WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Nicolás Goldbart FEATURING: Daniel Hendler, Jazmín Stuart, Yayo Guridi, Federico Luppi GENRE: <B>NON-SUPERNATURAL HORROR, THRILLER</B> TAGS: quarantine, pandemic, sci-fi RATING: <B>7 PINTS OF BLOOD</B> PLOT:<B> When a likable young urban couple is quarantined inside their apartment building during a pandemic, they must cope with diminishing supplies and misinformation from the authorities. All the while, their eclectic and quirky neighbors are becoming increasingly unstable and unpredictable.</B> NOTE: This is the second of two reviews of recent, well-produced horror films from Argentina. See also, Penumbra, below. COMMENTS: Coco (Daniel Hendler) and Pipi (Jazmin Stuart) are a naive, happy couple who do normal kinds of things, like go to the grocery on Saturday morning. This Saturday morning is different however. On their way back, people begin swarming the streets in a panic. An epidemic has broken out and if the media is to believed, it's becoming worse by the minute. Monitoring the situation from home, Coco and Pipi's evening is interrupted by floodlights and loudspeakers. Their building's been quarantined and the emergency respondents are cordoning it off under a huge plastic tent, as if the tenants are termites to be exterminated. They find themselves sealed into their own apartment complex, forbidden to leave. They can only watch from their windows as the outside world turns to bedlam around them. Bedlam is not confined to the outside for long. Inside, resources dwindle, utilities are cut off, and fellow residents get cabin fever and panic. Coco does his best to keep his head, protect Pipi, and hold down the fort. It's not easy. It turns out that doomsday scenarios aren't necessarily like fast-paced action movies. Caught in the doldrums, Coco and Pipi are stuck waiting, waiting, waiting... Instead of excitement and contingency, the experience for the group of tenants is more about nagging spouses, running out of lightbulbs and toiletries, and putting up with annoying neighbors, i.e. each other -for awhile that is. As the situation outside increases in severity, tension mounts. Pipi unwittingly works against Coco by innocently leaking critical personal information about their situation to an untrustworthy neighbor. Tenants fraction into factions. Coco must decide whether to go along with the prevailing group or stay out of it. The situation inside the complex degenerates further when under the auspices of moving a possibly infected neighbor off their floor, it becomes clear that the do-good members of the "apartment association" cell are out for their own gain. One thing leads to another and they attempt to force their way in on a fellow resident to loot his provisions. The bodies begin to pile up. Residents are dying, but is it from a hemorrhagic plague, or are they being murdered? Sadly, Coco's best option seems to be to join forces with his paranoid but gregarious, survivalist upstairs friend Horacio (Yayo Guridi). He's a nice guy, but maybe insane. Horacio's apartment turns out to be a high-tech, reinforced bunker complete with an armory of automatic weapons, electronic surveillance equipment, maps, and stacks of classified government information. Horacio wants Coco to join forces with him, and offers him a CBR protective suit and a firearm. Then he invites Coco on patrol with him through the darkened stairwells and corridors of their massive apartment building. The neighbors are up to some monkey business of their own and these nightly sojourns through the edifice's labyrinthine passages turn out to be enlightening in an upsetting and disturbing kind of way. Maybe Horacio isn't so paranoid after all. He seems to know an awful lot about what's going on, more than anyone else. But can Coco trust him? Blackly comic but subtly so, Phase 7 combines suspense, grim social commentary, and unsettling insight into human nature in a droll thriller format which is interrupted by moments of horror. Artfully shot and well paced, Phase 7 makes dramatically good use of camera angles and framing. Lighting is alternately glaring and sterile, and gloomily claustrophobic. This emphasizes the film's thematic contrast; the delineation between the bright, logical, outside world of society, authority and officialdom, versus the insular, isolated, inner world of sanctuary and retreat. Yet as the film goes on, we begin to detect a double meaning; authority is questionable. Society is reasonable strictly on its surface, and only so long as everything is going well. Safe refuge, once cut off from the outside world, can quickly degenerate into a den of suspicion, irrational fear, and schizophrenia. It's the cinematography that accomplishes this. Our sickening epiphany arrives not just from Phase 7's dialogue and action, but from a dual interpretation made possible by the very lighting and camera work itself. Ultimately, Phase 7 is about masquerade; how things -people and situations -can turn out to be something very different from their daily representations. In Phase 7, Coco discovers that he can't trust anyone or anything other than his own judgment and instincts, but the trouble comes from not knowing for sure whether his personal interpretations are sound. Under the circumstances, with little reliable input to go on, and multiple variables and potential explanations for what's happening, every course of action is a gamble. Coco must do his best to make the right choices to deliver himself and Pipi from myriad dangers which mount behind every turn.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2013
    This a surprising little movie here, it is far more sci-fi than it is a horror movie. Of course, at first I thought this would be simply a REC ripoff. The concept is exactly the same, a quarantined apartment complex that is, likely, being ravaged by a deadly virus. The difference is, this virus doesn't turn people into zombies, it simply just kills them. The difference is in the execution of the story, as this movie focuses on a more contained struggle between the tenants and their growing mistrust of each other. I also liked the fact that the movie was far funnier than I was expecting, with Horacio delivering some hilarious insults. The problem is that the movie really starts to drag more than halfway through the flick. The biggest offender would be the scene where Coco and Horacio are going after Zanutto, this scene simply goes on too long. Though it does leads to a really cool shootout sequence, after it the movie just sort comes to a halt and it doesn't ever really come back from it. I thought the score to the film was really cool as well, as it has an old-school feel with a modern twist. I thought the film was pretty good for the most part, as mentioned the movie drags so much that it downgrades the rating for me. It has some clever moments, but it is largely an average movie overall. Wouldn't give it a glowing recommendation, but you could do much worse.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2012
    *** out of **** A Buenos Aires apartment complex is put under an extensive quarantine after chaos and destruction caused by a newly discovered pandemic explodes just outside of the building. It is assumed that all those who were ill have already been removed from the premises, and now all anyone has is themselves and their neighbors. Among these people are Coco (Daniel Hendler) and his 7-months pregnant wife Pipi (Jazmin Stuart), who have just returned from a long day of grumpy grocery shopping when bright lights outside disturb the peace. For a while, the couple is surprisingly calm given the circumstances, but then the neighbors start getting a little restless, and Coco - being the man of the house (erm, apartment) - must do what he can to decrease the risk of infection against himself and Pipi alike. Perhaps the only other person in the building that Coco can really trust is his friend Horacio (Yayo Guridi), who suspects that two of their shared neighbors, and whoever else they recruit, are thinking of doing dangerous and irresponsible things. There's also an older man named Zanutto (Frederico Luppi) who might have been on Coco's side had he not been so passive earlier on about supplying his neighbor with some blades for shaving and an outlet. Now, Zanutto is armed with guns and booby traps; currently crazy to do just about anything and at any time. The apartment stands tall from the outside but is continually falling apart on the inside. Call me crazy or disillusioned in my perception of this, but I saw the entire thing as a satire of how human beings might react in the event of a worldwide pandemic. If this is indeed the point that Nicolas Goldbart is trying to make with "Phase 7", then it's easily not the most original film out there; as such films have been done before and are always trying to be done (a more "realistic" take on a similar premise would be Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion"). But I'll take it as it is and say that from a satirical stand-point, it's fairly funny and accurate without feeling too blown-up in its humor. There's also a darker undertone to it and that essentially works too; the film may appear to be taking a turn for the action route rather than remaining the slow-burn thriller full of energy that it originally appeared to be, but I assure you, it's always on the same track. The use of colors is particularly emotive. The film is nicely shot and creative in how it looks, even if looks may not always serve this kind of story well. In one very tense scene taking place in the dark garage of the complex, Zanutto faces off against Coco and Horacio; occasionally the light illuminates something with nightmarish greens. Like the rest of the film, it's not the kind of creative lighting that will break new ground; but it reminded me of a lot of the horror movies that I like and made me wonder why people don't go this over-the-top with color schemes and cinematography these days as they did, say, back in the 70's when the Italians were taking the world by storm. "Phase 7" is really damn good and intelligent until the finale. In a typical sci-fi send-off, Goldbart seems to have run out of the ideas and creativity that he displayed for the other 90 or so minutes. The ending is so utterly disappointing that it almost provokes the viewer to want to watch the film again, if only to see it through and pick apart the flaws. But the ending aside, I still think the film is pretty good. No doubt, I might feel a bit differently if I watch it again; but hell, the flaws are essentially nothing in comparison to the praise. This is a smart film of cleverly developed attributes; sexy and stylish, not necessarily dependent on characters and strong drama but seldom disregarding the two. I admire any film that can take something as familiar as an epidemic medical thriller premise and make it thoroughly entertaining.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer

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