Zombie flicks and TV shows seem to have become hugely popular in recent years. Shows like The Walking Dead have a massive cult following and it seems that people can't get enough of it. Cargo adopts a fresh approach to this genre, giving a truly humanistic feel that takes the audience on a personal journey with the lead character. The story is set in the Australian outback which in itself is an extreme environment and adds to the feeling of isolation.
The film is based on a 2013 short film of the same name, created by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke. As with most zombie stories, there has been a virus that is turning everyone into flesh-eating creatures that stumble around seeking their next meal. The story gives little away about the virus and it seems we are deep into the pandemic right from the start of the film. One thing is clear however and that is when infected it takes around 48 hours to take full effect and this provides the main premise of the story for Cargo. After being infected with the virus, Andy is left on his own in the middle of nowhere with his one-year-old daughter and as the clock is ticking he knows that he needs to find a suitable guardian to take care of his daughter before the virus takes hold completely. This adds to the tension as we witness a parent become the biggest threat to his child, providing a truly sobering adult outlook to this dilemma.
The cast is brilliant even though it is very limited. Martin Freeman plays Andy and provides an excellent performance, displaying all the desperation that you would expect from a man who could end up eating his own daughter. Susie Porter plays Kay, Andy's wife and displays genuine chemistry with Freeman in the limited time that she is on screen. But the true star of the show is the Australian Outback, it has to be said that cinematography is great and takes full advantage of the hostile yet stunning environment that the story is set in.
I have to say that I don't normally gravitate to this type of film, but Cargo really does bring a fresh approach. This is a very touching survival tale that is not scared to invite the audience into the desperate emotions of a parent that gives a sense of realism from start to finish. If you are looking for something new to watch on Netflix, Cargo is a great choice.