Menu

Cinema Review: Cargo

It isn’t every day that you get to see a zombie movie that leaves a genuinely emotional and lasting impression – by its very nature, the genre’s schlock/horror does not generally strive for profundity. But this is different. Set mostly in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia and shot by the brilliant cinematographer Geoffrey Simpson (Shine, The Navigator), the story begins with a family of three floating down the Murray on a flat-bottom boat. They are among the few who have survived a contagion that has led to the rest of the population turning into flesh eating, shambling zombies. Hoping to find a safe haven for themselves and their baby girl, Rosie, Andy and Kay (Martin Freeman, Susie Porter) come upon an abandoned yacht on the riverbank. After Andy has rifled through what provisions remain on board, Kay decides to investigate for herself. ‘Why oh why would she do that?’ you ask anxiously. In any post-apocalyptic scenario, characters must needlessly put themselves in danger (‘don’t go into the cellar!’), so you just ride with it and prepare yourself for tragedy or a hair-raising escape. When tragedy strikes here, it is left to one of them to see that the child – the ‘cargo’ – is delivered to salvation. Other ‘normals’ are encountered, but tension is built through the constant moving on and seeking a home for Rosie. A fine support cast, including veterans Kris McQuade and David Gulpilil, keep you guessing all the way, but the most significant person is a young Indigenous girl, Thoomi (Simone Landers), whose father is in the throes of becoming a zombie. It is an eye-catching, entirely natural performance from Landers, who ultimately steals the show. Most of the drama is meant to occur in the forty-eight hours between a victim being bitten and turning into a zombie, but it feels like more time elapses than that – which is only a quibbling criticism. Original and spiritual, the ending is a little preachy, but the message is loud and clear and overdue in being accepted.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsors Vast Furniture & Homewares Ballina and Falls Festival Byron Bay.