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In this adventurous experiment in storytelling, secret identities, missing persons, lost treasures, exotic beasts and desperate criminals are only a few of the elements woven into a grand tapestry of mysteries.
A block of flats is quarantined off as a result of a deadly virus that is sweeping the world. The inhabitants quickly succumb to psychological deterioration as paranoia and claustrophobia set in.
This Argentinean epidemic movie is pretty impressive. Its setting is necessarily limited but the film-makers make the most of it. The narrative is powered mainly by a decent array of characters, well played by the entire cast. The dramatic tensions in Phase 7 come not so much from the virus but from the interactions between the neighbours. As time goes on the microcosmic society of the tower block breaks down and primal instincts begin to take over. The scenario is not unlike one you would imagine J.D. Ballard coming up with, with its look at social norms deteriorating rapidly as they are tested under unusual conditions. The movie benefits too from a nice moody soundtrack that recalls the work of John Carpenter. There is at least one very well executed and unexpected gore scene too. In fact, the movie moves into some quite tense thriller territory in the final third. So overall, it tries to make the most of its basic set-up and deliver some suspense and atmosphere along the way. Phase 7 is a very worthwhile psychological sci-fi thriller.
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