Contracted (2013) – Review

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Contracted. You might think twice before joining the party.


Written and Directed by: Eric England

Starring: Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Alice Macdonald

Let’s face it, breaking up is hard to do. Contracted follows Samantha, a young lesbian who is not so privy to the fact that her relationship with Nikki is far from over. Going solo to a friends party gets everyone asking the question, “Where is Nikki?” Samantha’s inability to see the truth causes her to be careless. She doesn’t recognize what’s going on around her. A stranger at the party has used her blindness to his advantage. Drugged and raped, her recollection of the events that took place are spotty at best. Waking up in her apartment the next morning disconnected and disoriented, Samantha isn’t feeling so hot. What comes to follow is the deconstruction of ones self. Physically, mentally and emotionally.

Samantha has been infected by what appears to be an STD. Yes, a movie about an STD.

In all seriousness though, Contracted grossed me out. Why you ask? Well let’s start with some fun facts about STD’s. Did you know that sexually transmitted diseases are among the most common contagious diseases and that more than 65 million Americans have an incurable STD? Also, each year, 15.3 million new cases are reported; half of these infections are lifelong. Lifelong!?!?! In Contracted, Samantha joined the crowd on those stats and didn’t let anyone down. I couldn’t help but cringe watching her experience the symptoms of the supposed STD. From bad to worse and multiple doctor visits later, it isn’t letting up. There is no treatment for what Samantha has.

This film reminds me a lot of Alyce Kills. Both having a female lead who makes one bad decision; one that ultimately ends up costing her her life and the lives of those around her. The chain reaction that is set off fails to provide any solace for our victim. Each day that passes getting harder to address.

I was impressed by the simplicity of the effects used to show the transformation that our main character goes through. It was executed well and didn’t look cheap. There is something to be said about not-so-overdone special effects makeup. Especially when it makes you gag. Some scenes had me gritting my teeth over how awful and disgusting it would be to experience the trauma Samantha was going through on screen.

My one complaint would be that as much as the stranger at the party is mentioned throughout the movie, we never really learn anything more about him. You’ll understand what I mean when you watch. I wonder why his story never goes anywhere. It might have made it more interesting if they would have delved into his back story. I believe it would have given him a more pertinent role beside just being the carrier.

As the movie progressed, I was pulled further and further in. What we once knew as Samantha had now become a monster of sorts. By the end I was sold. For those of you who know about my interests, let’s just say we might have a resurrection on our hands!

If you can stomach what this movie has to offer, check it out!

Overall Rating: 8 out of 10


Contracted is an IFC Midnight exclusive

Available via On Demand and Amazon Instant Video

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