IFC Films has released the first trailer for The Cured, which puts a new spin on the zombie genre. Ellen Page stars in this thriller, where, years after humanity was ravaged by a virus that turned people into zombies, a cure was found, although "the cured" aren't exactly welcomed back into society. Along with this trailer, Entertainment Weekly has more details from stars Ellen Page and Sam Keeley, but first, you can take a look at the official synopsis below.
"What happens when the undead return to life? In a world ravaged for years by a virus that turns the infected into zombie-like cannibals, a cure is at last found and the wrenching process of reintegrating the survivors back into society begins. Among the formerly afflicted is Senan (Sam Keeley), a young man haunted by the horrific acts he committed while infected. Welcomed back into the family of his widowed sister-in-law (Ellen Page), Senan attempts to restart his life-but is society ready to forgive him and those like him? Or will fear and prejudice once again tear the world apart? Pulsing with provocative parallels to our troubled times, The Cured is a smart, scary, and hauntingly human tale of guilt and redemption."
The Cured is set in Dublin, and this cure only works on roughly 75% of those its administered to, with the uninfected quite uneasy with the prospect of living among those who used to be deadly zombies. Ellen Page plays a journalist who lost her husband to the zombie outbreak, who reluctantly takes in Senan, who reveals in the trailer that he has been infected for four years. In an interview with EW, Ellen Page reveals that this story takes place after most zombie movies have ended.
"This is the infected film that sort of takes place after most of those other films end. A cure has been found for most, but not all, of the individuals infected and, after a couple of years of Dublin being ravaged by the situation, the cured people start being introduced back into society. But of course a lot of people definitely do not want them and are terrified about another outbreak. Senan is one of the cured, who is now being introduced back to society. Those who were infected remember what they've done, they're left with that guilt, they're left with the trauma of all of that, so it's also about how they can even start integrating back into society again."
While the film is set long after the zombie outbreak, there are a number of flashbacks where Sam Keeley and others like Tom Vaughn-Lawlor had to portray convincing zombies. The film is actually a feature-length extension of a short film writer-director David Freyne made called The First Wave, which Sam Keeley reveals is somewhat of a prequel to this film. Here's what Sam Keeley had to say below about how the director created the specific movements and breathing for these unique zombies.
"It was a very specific thing that they had going on. David Freyne, our director, made a short film called The First Wave, which was kind of a prequel to this film and the lead actress in that was called Jane McGrath. She, along with Dave, came up with the movement, and the breathing, and they essentially created this version of their monster, if you like. Jane came in, and she was kind of a movement coach for myself, and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, and couple of other people that were playing infected. They were more like wild animals, like wolves or something, than they were mindless beasts. It was very subtle changes to your physicality to make you seem just a bit more animalistic and more instinctual. But the breathing was a huge part of it, it was like their respiratory system is constantly moving a hell of a lot faster than ours. It took a while to make sure you didn't hyperventilate and pass out, but once you got the hang of it, it was fun."
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, but the screening hit a bit of a snag when a fire alarm went off, according to Ellen Page, "at one of the biggest moments of the film." The actress revealed that it was quite special to see the whole crowd evacuate the theater for about 20 minutes, before everyone went back in to watch the rest of the film. Sam Keeley also revealed that, when David Freyne was writing the script, he was subtly referencing the Irish banking crash in 2006-2007, but he wouldn't realize all of the other issues the script would ultimately touch on in later years.
"I know Dave, when he was writing the script, had in mind the banking crash in Ireland, in 2006-2007. While writing the script, he had no idea that years later we'd be dealing with an immigrant situation, we would be dealing with all the policies that are coming out of the political situation in America right now. It seems the world has become a very hostile place for certain groups of people, whether that be [because of] a religious affiliation, or a sexual orientation or, right now, a gender. I think it's very relevant. I just hope people can watch it in terms of that and getting more out of it than just flesh-eating monsters."
Ellen Page and Sam Keeley lead a cast that also includes Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Paula Malcomson, Stuart Graham and Peter Campion. IFC Films has set The Cured for release on February 23, in theaters and on VOD formats, which will put it up against Annihilation, starring Natalie Portman, Game Night, starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams and Every Day starring Maria Bello and Angourie Rice. Take a look at the new trailer for The Cured, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.