Infection (Kansen) (2004)

Death is just a breath away.
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Infection - Death is just a breath away

Infection (Kansen) is a J-Horror movie directed by Masayuki Ochiai (Parasite Eve) and from the creators of Ring, Grudge and Dark Water (according to the packaging). The movie is set in an underfunded, understaffed hospital and revolves around a group of un-rested, overstressed doctors and nurses about to start the night shift.

During the treatment of a 70% burns victim, a nurse administers the wrong drug at the request of one of the doctors. The patient dies and realizing that this malpractice could mean the end for the failing hospital they decide that it is best to cover it up, justifying this action by convincing themselves that the patient would have no quality of life if he had of survived. They raise the heat in the room to expedite the breakdown of the incorrect drug, close the door and hope they can forget about it by the time that their shift is over. Unfortunately for the conspirators their plan is over heard by Dr Akiba who is trying to sleep in the next room.

Whilst this is happening paramedics leave a patient in ER with most unusual symptoms. At this point in the movie it all starts to go green (I'll explain this comment later). Dr Akiba decides that studying this unusual infection can bring the hospital fame and fortune and the other members of staff feel they must help for fear of Akiba exposing their earlier medical screw up.

The infection is not adequately contained and one by one the hospital staff succumb to the mysterious disease and after brief periods of madness and oozing green pus they eventually die in more and more intriguing ways.

This movie can be watched on a number of levels. The obvious storyline is almost slasher-like (with the infection playing the part of the crazed killer at the sleepover) as the doctors and nurses become infected and terrorise each other. Each character has his or her own issues and failings in life and these are usually somehow connected to the way that they die.

On another level the movie can be seen to contain a number of infections other than the obvious green pus. The infection takes on a whole new meaning as the ending twists and makes you rethink everything that you have just watched. This is the point where you realize that somewhere in the movie the colours green and red have interchanged and the reason why. Subtle effects such as this colour interchange are common in Asian horror movies and for me it is these subtleties that make Asian Horrors creepier than a lot of their brutally obvious Western counterparts.

This movie relies more on suspense and subtleties that can easily be missed until you fully grasp what is actually going on and for this reason you'll probably find that a second watching reveals a whole new movie. As per a lot of horror movies from Asia, I found that the storyline can seem a bit disjointed and just plain odd in places (I'm still struggling a bit to decipher who the real victim of the infection was), but overall I found this a great, well thought out movie, definitely worth a second watch and probably due a third quite soon.

Terror, suspense, creative death and plenty of green gore... what more could you ask for?
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Categories: Asian Horror Movies

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