Practically since George A. Romero’s first film there has been a clear connection between the concept of zombies and the allegory with the intention of social denunciation. To a greater or lesser extent, all the movies with these monsters have wanted to make a humanistic commenteither to show humanity as the real monsters or to expose social inequalities around concepts such as race.
The best films of this style get a good balance between making an effective horror (or drama) movie and making a message that resonates. That’s something they got right Ben Howling Y Yolanda Ramke in their 2013 short, which touched on the theme of the undead, and they put it to good use again in their own feature-length remake for Netflix. And for that, ‘Cargo’ works quite well.
What remains after the fall
Martin Freeman takes the helm of this amazing Australian production, helping to make it accessible to viewers around the world by being a recognizable face, but also helping to ground its emotional ambitions. ‘Cargo’ is not a film that exploits zombies in their most terrifying facet, but wants take advantage of them to truly investigate the human condition.
As is often the case in these movies, it is instantly unleashed a pandemic that causes the transformation of people into flesh-eating dead beings. Unfortunately for Freeman’s character, who finds himself in the care of his young daughter after losing her mother in an accident, he is on his way to becoming one after being bitten.
It still has a margin, but it is narrowing. She must take the opportunity to try to find a safe destination for the little girl so that she is safe after her departure, and she must cross the wilds of Australia on foot as well as pull your survival instincts more pure. In the process you will meet different more or less reliable characters, as well as the unexpected contact with indigenous communities of the region.
‘Cargo’: human and complicated
The film knows how to exploit its minimalism well, being a modest Australian film, to try inject some freshness that avoids clichés of the genre. The contact with the tribes allows him to make a sharp comment about colonialism, and the pandemic context also allows him to talk about surviving in a devastating state of emergency that is not difficult to associate with the climatic crisis or with the exploitations carried out by man.
However, where he begins to conquer is through his human side and his little halo of hope. Those loopholes in the context of the apocalypse connect it more with ‘A Quiet Place’ than with ‘The Walking Dead’, despite the fact that it also takes elements from the latter -the constant mistrust of trusting other humans who are on the way- and manage to improve them. The passage of time and the constant inflation of the catalog have somewhat erased its existence within the catalog, but it is one of the most estimable gems that can be found on Netflix.
In Espinof | The best zombie movies of all time