Cargo is a post-apocalyptic thriller that is set amongst the Australian outback and follows a father trying to save his daughter from a zombie-like epidemic taking over the country. The film is based on the 2013 short film written by Yolanda Ramke, that was a finalist in the Tropfest Short Film Festival. It was originally released on Netflix in October 2017, but was officially released in cinemas on the 17th of May.
The film begins with parents Andy (Martin Freeman) and Kay (Susie Porter) hiding on a house boat with their daughter Rosie. Kay becomes infected with the unnamed disease that has taken over the country and soon dies, leaving Andy in the care of Rosie. The catch? Andy has also been infected and has less than 48 hours before he becomes a danger. So he begins a journey through the Australian outback to find someone that will be able to protect Rosie. Along the journey Andy encounters many different people including young Indigenous girl, Thoomi (Simone Lander) who is in a similar situation, trying to help her infected father.
With many zombie movies becoming cliches such as ‘Warm Bodies’ and ‘World War Z’, Cargo is one of its own. Although the main plot is dominated by a zombie-like apocalypse, the movie delves deeper than the aforementioned movies. It brings audiences on the emotional journey of Freeman and Lander’s characters and this is what makes it a level above most zombie movies. It’s interesting that the movie’s producers chose British actor Martin Freeman to star in this Australian outback film but his performance alongside Lander is the perfect pairing.
Geoffrey Simpson’s incredible cinematography of the empty Australian landscape creates an eeriness, with impressive aerial shots showing the vast land. These shots intensify the thriller and bring the tension to an unsettling level throughout.
Cargo is the modern zombie movie that appeals to all audiences. It not only has the disturbing moments needed for a thriller but has moments of raw emotion that will make your heart full. It may just be the next Australian cult movie.