Considering its 60,000 dollar budget this is a very impressive film.
It has a strong, if not explosive opening as we our introduced to the daily activity off post 9/11 New York and our characters in a claustrophobic apartment setting. What is immediately very clear is that these are very ordinary people representing lives of well written characters whom we can engage and relate to. Such characters appear only more realistic as they are excellently acted by a unknown cast. The 9/11 backdrop as most explicitly represented by the daughter character and subtly hinted at throughout the movie, for example through dialogue represents a interesting parallel to the fear and paranoia that a virus can create in the population.
Generally it is well written in every aspect, impressively shot and well directed, successfully incorporating a creepy, suspenseful, disturbing and at times scary tone and atmosphere that is gradually and impressively built up from the start and keeps you engaged. This is to a degree as a result the effective and claustrophobic setting within Manhattan’s cramped apartment buildings and bars. Some scenes have subtle humour in them aswell which serves to temporarily let the audience catch its breath without lessening the impact of films more disturbing aspects in its more ferocious scenes when the virus really hits the city. When we see the ‘creatures’, again considering the budget the director has used impressive practical and consequently effective FX. He has chosen not to linger on the creatures instead we see short flashes, or at most 3 second of close ups. Such a approach keeps the audience on edge as the infected catch and feed on their prey out of the dark and tight environments shot through fast and ferocious camera movements. This approach is applied especially effectively when the creatures gradually transform into their full form clips of them humour can also be found within some of the scripts snappy dialogue. Another big positive for this movie is that the story is to a degree original and fresh, if clearly a spin, though a spin on, zombie movies like 28 Days Later or infection movies like The Crazies made by people who you can tell have a clear love and appreciation of the genre.
Overall a very impressive low budget and significantly character driven flick from the AfterDark Horrorfest cannon which big studio flicks from Hollywood could learn a lot from and which i recommend all you guys on the site and forums check out.