Infection (Kansen)

Distributed by: Lion Gate

Reviewed by Ismael Manzano

     Infection (aka Kansen) is another Japanese horror movie import in the vein of The Grudge and The Ring and is available to watch on DVD.  Infection takes place in Central Hospital, a clinic in deep financial trouble, filled with overworked nurses, failed surgeons and jaded doctors.  The hospital is on the brink of shutting down, resources and supplies are nearly depleted and the doctors are unable to treat the patients properly or transfer them to other hospitals. 

     One night, the underpaid, exhausted staff accidentally causes the death of a burn victim patient.  Out of fear of having the hospital shut down for good, the staff enters into a conspiracy to cover up the true cause of the unknown patient’s death.  But first they must conceal his death for four hours while they overheat the body and speed up its decay. 

     In the midst of this tragedy, paramedics bring a highly infectious patient into the ER, a patient with a rapidly spreading rash.  Before the doctors can examine this new patient, the man’s disease has liquefied his internal organs and turned his blood green.  Dr. Akai decides that rather than report the disease to the Health Department and risk having he hospital shut down, they should study the disease in the hope of finding a new pathogen and thus bringing fresh revenue into the hospital.  And, being the only staff member who wasn’t involved in the death of the burn victim, he blackmails his subordinates with exposure in order to get them to agree. 

     Before long the body disappears, and the staff begins to show symptoms that they’ve been infected.  Madness precedes the inevitable gory deaths as the doctors try desperately to find how the infection is spread and how to stop it.  But with hallucinations running rampant how much of what they see can they truly believe? 

     Infection is a classic style horror movie and very similar to the other Japanese films of its genre.  Surprisingly, however, unlike some of the other imports as of late, there is no creepy child ghost or hydrophobia propaganda in Infection.  It’s more basic than that, stemming from the old moral of retribution. 

     All in all, Infection is a good rental that I’m glad I did not pay too much for.  It was entertaining and delivered some genuine thrills, but it was more disturbing than actually scary, with a surprise ending that was just barely plausible, but not entirely predictable.  I’d recommend this film for a good horror movie theme night, for those who like a little cliché cheesiness to their films—and after all, aren’t all horror movies just a little cheesy anyway?  If they weren’t, we probably wouldn’t like them as much. 


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