The Contracted duology are a pair of sequels based around a sexually-transmitted zombie virus.
Contracted, released in 2013, is the story of Samantha, a shy young woman whose drink was spiked at a party by a stranger named BJ, and she contracts the disease that slowly rots her away over the course of three days, both physically and mentally.
Contracted: Phase II, released in 2015, picks up where the last movie left off, only this time, focusing around Riley, as he attempts to seek out BJ and find a cure.
Tropes common to both movies:
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Averted with Zain, who seems like a reasonably nice guy for a drug peddler and doesn't try to push his ... wares on others. Although he did sell roofies to BJ, which set the events of the first film in motion.
- Body Horror: Both films deal with a necrotizing STD that physically rots its host within days. This is a given.
- Downer Ending: Neither film is given a very upbeat conclusion.
- Embarrassing Initials: Brett Jaffe.
- Lack of Empathy: In the first film, there's Nikki. Her reaction to the news that Sam was drugged and raped is unbelievably callous and insensitive. And in the second film, this is, apparently BJ's entire reason for spreading the virus. Although he also claims to have Knight Templar motive.BJ: A new beginning, an eternal night, wrath like never before cleansing society and all I ever wanted was to feel. To feel anything, pain, love, anger.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Our Zombies Are Different: Theyre the product of a sexually transmitted disease from a Serial Rapist who carries the disease, but is immune. It causes people to decay over the course of three days, and to reanimate upon death. After that, everything's pretty straight-forward.
- Plaguemaster: BJ. He carries the disease, and while he doesn't display any apparent symptoms, he still might smell of rot, since he has air fresheners in his car.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Zain, the Affably Evil drug and arms dealer is always Played for Laughs anytime he's onscreen in an otherwise dark and depressing couple of movies.
- Serial Rapist: Brett BJ Jaffe is a particularly nasty one. He carries the zombie virus, but doesnt display any symptoms and as such, is immune. And he deliberately infects women with it, either consensually or not.
- The Virus
The first film:
- And Then John Was a Zombie: After spending the entire film trying to cope with her infection, Samantha dies in a car crash and returns as a zombie.
- Asshole Victim: Nikki, who was constantly trying to control Sam's life and generally treated her poorly and badmouthed everyone close to her.
- Bolivian Army Ending: The film ends with a fully zombified Sam being called to by her mother and guns being aimed at her by the policemen, and her heading towards her. The screen goes dark and screams and crunching sounds are heard.
- Despair Event Horizon: Sam goes off the deep end when Nikki gives her a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech and tries to shut the door in her face.
- Does Not Like Men: Nikki in spades. In fact, she utterly despises them to the point where she dumps Sam for being raped by one.
- Dogged Nice Guy:
- Riley, to Sam. He appears to be genuinely attempting to be nice to her, but just doesn't realize that she isn't interested.
- Alice, too. She appears to have Sam's best interests in mind, trying to keep her away from Nikki, who she suspects to be a bad influence (and considering Nikki's behavior towards Sam, she isn't wrong). Of course, Sam will have none of this, and buys into Nikki's accusation that she's trying to keep them apart because she wants Sam for herself.
- Sam herself to Nikki, who treats her with contempt throughout the movie.
- The Faceless: Whenever BJ is onscreen, his face is hidden in shadow. This is averted in Phase II, however.
- Fan Disservice: Sam is frequently shown in her underwear while bleeding heavily from below. And thats not even mentioning the sex scene between her and Riley, where shes rotting and maggots are falling off that same area.
- Jerkass: Even before she finds out that Samantha was drugged by BJ, Nikki comes off as a passive-aggressive Control Freak, even sinking to keeping her letter of acceptance without telling her.
- Kick the Dog:
- Nikki dumping Sam for being drugged and raped by BJ. Notably, this is what causes Sam's FaceHeel Turn.
- While Riley was always rather creepy towards Samantha, it just come across as unnecessary and cruel of her to have sex with him with the intention of infecting him.
- Pet the Dog: Samantha's mother briefly tells her that she's proud of her for having her plants accepted into the gallery.
- Sanity Slippage: As she physically rots away from the virus, Samantha also starts becoming less and less mentally stable until she commits two murders.
- Stalker with a Crush: Riley tends to follow Sam around, attempting to hit on her.
- Strawman Political: Zig-zagged with Sams mother. Shes a devout Catholic who strongly disapproves of her daughters homosexuality, but at the same time, displays genuine concern for her well-being and admits to being proud of Sam when she tells her that her entry was accepted.
- Trauma Conga Line: Poor Sam. Gets raped and infected with a zombie virus, is smothered by her deeply religious mother, stalked by an old friend, has her plants rejected by the gallery because the owner doesn't recognize her due to the extent of her bodily decay, is given the silent treatment by her control freak girlfriend who later dumps her on the basis of her being raped by a man, and finally ends up in a car crash that kills her and causes her to come back as a zombie.
- Villain Protagonist: Samantha starts out as a friendly, if not timid, young woman but as the disease starts to progress in her, she becomes more aggressive, to the point where she murders Nikki and Alice, and has sex with Riley with the intention of getting him infected.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Sam spends the majority of the film rotting away from The Virus, which was deliberately forced on her by a despicable Serial Rapist. Then she goes absolutely apeshit at the end, murdering Nikki for rejecting her, and Alice, who she blamed for said rejection, and has sex with Riley to transmit the disease as revenge for stalking her. Finally, she dies and turns into a zombie, and kills her own mother. Just goes to show what a miserable three days she had.
The second film:
- And I Must Scream: Harper dies, is zipped up in a body bag, then left in a morgue storage as she reanimates.
- Actionized Sequel: Mildly, although there's a lot more gunfire involved, and BJ's Evil Plan is played like something out of an action-packed crime thriller.
- Ax-Crazy: BJ. Goes around spreading his disease by way of rape? Check. Records unhinged rants in his basement about how the world deserves a Zombie Apocalypse? Check. Keeps a zombified woman chained up in said basement? Check. Shoots up a hospital while threatening to blow himself up? Check.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Being the carrier of the virus, BJ survives Rileys bite, and is hospitalized. Although he fails to kill Detective Young, shes obviously infected, anyway, and is likely to turn soon. And the plague's only going to continue spreading across the city, and likely the world in time.
- Black Comedy: Ricky, the security guard, sees Debbie scratching violently at the giant rash on her arm, and all he says is, Oh hell no and casually walks away.
- Evil All Along: It's revealed that BJ is The Dragon to the doctor from the first film.
- Eye Scream: Harper removes her own eye while trying to take out her contacts.
- Hypocritical Humor: Zain is mortified when Riley asks him for guns, but gives in and admits he has them.Zain: Fucking guns, bro? Do I look like Ted-Fucking-Nugent? (beat, looks at Harper) Don't answer that. Dude, I sell fucking recreational shit here, okay? I sell good times, I help people and I don't fucking kill them, okay? (beat) How much cash you got? (Gilligan Cut, a bunch of guns and ammo are lying on the table)
- I Am the Noun: "I am the end."
- Knight Templar: BJ's first Motive Rant contains hints of this, but he contradicts it in his second one, where he makes it clear that he's little more than a sociopath.BJ: What you deserve is disease. What you deserve is plague. All the people around you, your sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters, their bodies stacked around you like firewood leaking blood and pus. All the physical that you held so dear. Everything that turned you on... now rotted and stinking from the very ... (yelling at the zombified woman he has chained up) QUIET! (beat) Abaddon is coming.
- Lighter and Softer: Slightly. It has a little more Black Comedy than the first, and at times, comes across as more of a crime/action movie than it does a grueling Body Horror flick, and is more of a straightforward Zombie Apocalypse movie than a cautionary tale about date rape and STDs. The ending is no less grim than the first movie, though, and in fact, is even worse.
- Madness Mantra: "I am death. I am disease. I am the end. I am death. I am disease. I am the end."
- Misanthrope Supreme: BJ explains in a Motive Rant that he despises humanity so utterly and wants nothing more than to see them all wiped out by his hand.
- Narm: Invoked with the song that Dewey plays at Alices memorial. James is quick to point out just how hokey it is.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Here, BJ is not only a Serial Rapist, but a sociopathic Misanthrope Supreme who wants to exterminate the human race.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Riley is about to buy some guns off of Zain, only for him and Harper to be caught by the police and then taken to the hospital, where Harper dies and is trapped in a morgue storage, and Riley is killed by BJ and then comes back as a zombie, then is shot in the head, killing him off for good.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: At the beginning of the movie, Sam is shot by the police after killing her mother. Riley also dies, although that only happens at the end.
- Took a Level in Badass: Riley goes from being the quiet stalker out for Sams affection to a zombified Determinator ready to go after the man responsible for the plague.
- Took a Level in Kindness: As of the sequel, Riley is a much nicer person and not just a creepy stalker. He's shown to care for his grandmother, and to regret standing by while Sam was being raped. He does not, however, refuse to get violent when Harper's classmate tries to stop him from taking her along on the trip to find BJ.
- Zombie Apocalypse: One has started by the end of the movie.