Cargo – Film Club Review

cargoIn the Tropfest short film, turned viral video, turned feature film (picked up by Netflix), Cargo explores the Australian perspective on the zombie genre.

Title: Cargo
Genre: Horror
Classification: MA15+
Director: Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke

After an epidemic spreads all over Australia, a father searches for someone willing to protect his daughter.


In general, did people enjoy this film?

Most of us felt underwhelmed by Cargo. We were left wanting more – More zombies, more emotion, more tension, more drama… Having been adapted from a short, it seems that the filmmakers didn’t quite have enough to flesh out a feature length film, and it shows. The characters are stock-standard and underdeveloped, the themes are left unexplored and the landscape is underutilised. It is somewhat of a let down, especially considering the potential that both the Australian landscape and history can offer to a concept like this. While the film is certainly watchable, and there are some good performances, it just doesn’t stand out from the crowd in either the Australian or Horror film genres.

What did they like / not like about it?

While it gets off to a good start, Cargo gets bogged down in the main character’s struggle to survive, without ever really following through with any of the themes it sets up. While decidedly not a fun zombie flick, the only thing Cargo really commits to is its heavy drama-thriller tone, which made for an ultimately exhausting experience with little reward. Technically well-made, and features a fantastic (and too small) performance from Caren Pistorius – a standout amidst some spotty acting. - Liam

I thought it was quite a straight forward premise and ticked a bunch of boxes. The stunning scenery of South Australia was a joy to watch and a cameo by David Gulpilil is always welcomed. - Lukas

This film almost frustrated me. I don’t feel as though it went far enough in any direction. There wasn’t quite enough zombie to fulfill the horror genre, and there wasn’t quite enough heart or drama to go the other way. I think a zombie film can usually do with a bit more tension than what Cargo is serving up. The Australian perspective is an interesting take though and I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more of it. – Mali

Keywords used to describe this movie:

Predictable. Lackluster. Zombie. Australian. Drama. Thriller. Post-apocalyptic. Underdeveloped. Struggle. Picturesque. Dirty.

Would people recommend it to a friend?

Perhaps if they were familiar with the short, or were a fan of Australian cinema.



What did you think of Cargo? We’d love to hear your thoughts! And make sure you stay up to date with the films so you can join in the conversation next fortnight.



And the next film is…

Title: HereditarySDC_2377908_2018-08-8--00-15-00
Genre: Horror
Classification: MA15+
Director: Ari Aster

After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.