2017’s “The Cured,” now available to stream on Hulu, reminds me a whole lot of the BBC show “In The Flesh,” which I enjoyed when I wasn’t watching “Doctor Who,” “Orphan Black” and “Merlin” back in the day, and indeed, it has a similar premise. Like “In The Flesh,” “The Cured” portrays a world that has conquered the zombie apocalypse, albeit “The Cured”, true to its title, did so through a cure for zombification, whereas “In The Flesh” did so through treatment, which in my opinion, makes “The Cured” a lot less interesting than “In The Flesh,” as zombification is less permanent.
Both explore the after affects of zombification as a disease, as like “In The Flesh,” the former zombies in “The Cured” have vivid memories of the atrocities they did while in a rabid zombie state, and they do struggle with post traumatic disorder and coping with what they did when they were not in control. But “The Cured”‘s zombies are also much different; while they do eat humans, they have no signs of rot; they’re just normal humans who once had the behavior of zombies, but nothing else.
“The Cured” follows former zombie Senan Browne (Sam Keeley) who is being released back into society, to live with his sister-in-law, Abbie (Ellen Paige). He has an unsteady friendship with Conor (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), another former zombie who he used to roam with, and who once had political aspirations. They are harassed by Sergeant Cantor (Stuart Graham), who oversaw their treatment and is extremely distrustful of them.
Public opinion is not on the side of The Cured, as they hold deep prejudices against them and hold them responsible for the actions they committed when under the influence of the disease (named the Maze virus). However, Conor and Senan soon learn that the public has even more distaste for the 25 percent of zombies that are still infected, who proved resistant to the zombification cure and live in captivity, so much so that the government plans to euthanize all zombies resistant to the cure, despite the protests of people like Dr. Lyons (Paula Malcomson) who thinks they can still be saved.
The film does a great job of portraying how people might realistically react to its scenario in which some people can be cured of a zombification virus. People are already ignorant; they’re not going to necessarily sympathize with a group of people who legitimately did terrible things, even if they had no control over their actions. It also introduces the idea of what would happen if one of the former zombies comes back not entirely regretting what he had done while under the influence of the disease, and how one bad apple can do a lot of damage to those who are just trying to piece together their lives.
This film is not the best acted or directed I’ve seen recently, and it does drag here and there. But it poses interesting questions that I’ll remember, and despite “In The Flesh” having a very similar premise, I found “The Cured”‘s take on the zombie apocalypse very refreshing, which is a very difficult thing to accomplish in the overcrowded sub-genre.
All in all, “The Cured” is a nice little film that is perfect for Hulu. It’s interesting, disposable, and only about an hour and a half long. It’s a perfectly average film with an interesting premise; no more, no less.
“The Cured” gets a 6.5/10