Mutants (2009)

Rating: C+

Dir: David Morlet
Star: Hélène de Fougerolles, Francis Renaud, Nicolas Briancon, Dida Diafat

We join this outbreak already in progress, with Sonia (de Fougerolles) and her other half Marco (Renaud) driving an ambulance, in search of the reputed “Noah” military base, rumoured to be a safe refuge. Marco gets nibbled by one of the infected, and the pair are forced to hole up in a deserted mountain hospital (or some similar facility). Sonia, a nurse, appears to be resistant – she was bitten in the early stages, but suffered no effects – and tries to take care of Marco, including an impromptu blood-tranfusion, in the hope of passing on her immunity.

Seeing a helicopter flying overhead, she broadcasts on the ambulance radio, hoping to get rescued, but it only brings in the sinister Franck (Briancon) and his crew, who want the resources of the facility for themselves. They may well pose a bigger threat to Sonia’s survival than the undead, thanks to the isolation of the location; at least, until an ill-advised mission to get fuel brings a horde of zombies back in its wake. This has most of the normal elements of a zombie movie, and certainly, is far from the only entry to have a loved one succumbing to the disease. What’s interesting here is the extension of that relationship, beyond the point at which the living half typically puts a bullet in the head of the infected one.

Sonia can’t bring herself to do that, so keeps Marco around – and this plays a crucial part in the film’s climax. The rest of the movie is zeds by numbers, though I liked the near monochrome photography. Things do lag enormously in the middle portion, and the introduction of Franck’s crew is clumsily done, and seems to be there purely as a deus ex scripwriter plot-device to kick off the second-half, instead of arising organically as it should. The twist on its central premise would certainly have benefited from more development, rather than just rehashing the usual, less interesting aspects.