Torch Movie Review 09.28.11


Mom always told you to wash your hands. Around a college campus where everyone lives in close quarters, that’s probably not a bad idea. But if her warning isn’t enough to scare you, maybe “Contagion” is. This movie will have you constantly applying hand sanitizer and covering your cough.

The movie begins with business woman Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returning from Hong Kong. Home in the U.S., she begins to develop a set of eerie flu-like symptoms. Within a couple days, she’s dead without a diagnosis.

It doesn’t take long for the disease to become a pandemic. The CDC works hard to track the bug to its roots, undertaking the intricate task of mapping out all of Beth’s interactions and seeing where the disease could be headed. Pandemonium that’s almost more frightening than the disease itself ensues around the world.

I must say that the movie kept me on the edge of my seat. I was constantly trying to predict where the plot was going while cutting off the circulation in my boyfriend’s hand. But when all was said and done, I was kind of disappointed. Maybe I was expecting something more radical and Hollywood-ized.

But, in another light, the plausibility of the pandemic was actually more frightening than a more paranormal explanation. I left the theater not touching my face once.

So if you’re the type that likes “I Am Legend,” dark-seeker, zombie action, “Contagion” might leave you feeling a little disappointed. But if the realistic stuff is what gives you the chills, this movie might just be what the doctor ordered. n