Carriers (2009) Review

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I just got finished watching Carriers on Netflix. I really did not expect much – but this was a pretty good movie.

This film, a 2009 survival horror flick is an underrated gem, shot with a pre-fame Chris Pine in a leading role. It also serve as an entirely too-eerie “what if?” concerning a viral pandemic that is way, way out of control.

Carriers - Official Trailer [HD]

Two brothers, Brian and Danny, Bobby, Brian’s girlfriend and Danny’s platonic friend Kate, are fleeing at best speed to a place of shelter shelter with the hopes of escaping a viral pandemic that has ruined civilization in the US.

This place is called Turtle Beach, the very same place where Brian and Danny vacationed as kids. As you might expect, literally everything that can go wrong during such a situation does go wrong.

In an effort to live and avoid the dystopian horrors of the trip, the group all agree to follow a set of survival rules:

  1. No contact with the infected, ever.
  2. Anything an infected has touched in the past day must be diligently disinfected.
  3. The infected are as good as dead and cannot be helped.
  4. Follow the rules and live; ignore them and die.

This is a far sight different from the average “zombie pandemic” movie, and many of the problems are approached in an impressively grounded and realistic way.

This alone makes for some great survival lessons! I highly recommend this film to all preppers, and as always, if you don’t want spoilers watch it first and then come back for our breakdown!

Plot Synopsis

A highly contagious virus has killed the majority of the world’s population. Brian, Danny, and Kate plan a getaway to Turtle Beach, where Brian spent his childhood vacations with his brothers. To assist them survive, they adhere to a set of rules devised by Brian.

The group stops at a gas station after leaving the convenience store. While there, they see survivor Frank and his infected daughter Jodie, who has run out of gas.

When Frank attacks them, the four flee from him in their vehicle, but they are compelled to assist him and Jodie in using his car when theirs breaks down.

They’re driven by Frank to a neighboring high school, where it’s rumored that the pandemic’s cure was developed. When they get there, Frank, Brian, Danny, and Kate find that the serum is ineffective and the last remaining doctor is about to put down a group of sick kids.

Meanwhile, as the virus spreads, Bobby catches it from Jodie. She hides this fact from the others. Later, Frank is forced to take Jodie to a portable toilet so that Brian may escape with their vehicle.

At a hotel, the group mistakenly believe it is unoccupied. It isn’t, and has been inhabited by skilled and dangerous survivalist. The survivalists return, and they force the women to stay with them until they discover Bobby’s disease and order the group away. Brian subsequently pressures Bobby to leave the group.

As they run out of gas, Brian kills two women and drains their car to get more gasoline, but he is shot. Danny finds out that his brother is infected while treating his injuries.

That night, Danny tries to leave Brian behind, but he takes the keys to their vehicle. Desperate to avoid dying alone from the virus, Brian pushes Danny into murdering him so he won’t die alone.

Danny and Kate arrive at Turtle Beach the following morning, but Danny realizes that without his brother, it has become a lifeless landscape.

Survival Lessons

Always have a backup plan and be prepared for the worst case scenario: This is rule number one for a reason.

When things go wrong, they tend to go very wrong. In the movie, this ranges from the minor inconvenience of a flat tire to being chased by a murderous father infected with the virus.

So many of the bad situations that our protagonists find themselves in arise because they blunder into a situation overconfident or sure of a given outcome, or their assessment of the situation. A little more humility and some genuine backup planning would have saved a lot of pain and several deaths.

Be vigilant and never let your guard down: our protagonist in the movie are merely human, with human frailties.

They get bored, they get stressed out, they simply get stretched too thin emotionally, physically and mentally by the terrible trials they are undergoing.

But nevertheless, if you want to survive you must not give in to complacency or fatigue when you are on uncertain or dangerous ground.

Horsing around at inappropriate times or failing to treat a situation with the required gravity could see you or someone you love get killed.

Do not let your emotions cloud your judgement or decision making: very few people alive today can sincerely state that they have faced the horrendous choices and aftermath of a situation like the one that our foursome in carriers had already faced and were living through in the events of the film.

So it is easy for us to say that we should not give in to emotions in the middle of a survival situation, but say it we must. panicking or allowing yourself to become emotionally compromised will only cloud your thinking when you can least afford it. Stay calm, stay cool and you can think clearly. Thinking clearly will keep you alive.

Be willing to make hard decisions, even if they are morally questionable:  this is something that every prepper must have a long, hard talk with themselves before they are faced with the gravest extreme.

Some decisions that you or others you are with might have to make in order to survive a critical incident could run into morally gray or even outright evil territory by our conventional standards.

You must know ahead of time what you are able to do and what you absolutely will not stand for. As seen in the movie, these types of scenarios can result in absolute disaster if it splits a group apart at an inopportune time.

You can’t help everyone, sometimes you have to let people die in order to save yourself: the survival lesson is a compliment to the previous one.

In any major catastrophe worth the name, including a genuine doomsday pandemic, you will be faced with incalculable human suffering. are you going to try to help everyone that needs help, that you can help? At what cost and to whom?

Perhaps not just you but your loved ones, too. It is a terrible thing to think about but that will be reality. Again, know what you will and won’t stand for under the circumstances.

Stick together as a group and follow the leader’s instructions: being smack in the middle of a crisis is no time for democracy.

If a group has established a leader ahead of time, particularly someone who will call the shots in the face of unknown contacts and dangerous situations, their instructions must be followed to the letter and at once (unless they are not privy to tactical information that some other member of the group is).

Doing otherwise will result in a loss of cohesion and casualties.

Make sure all of your gear is in good working condition and know how to use it: although it is a trope of the genre, cars breaking down and critical gear going missing or being held hostage results in quite a bit of pain and suffering, and a few deaths, throughout the movie.

That being said, a desperate, apocalyptic situation will put people and machines alike to a very severe test and much maintenance will be deferred under the circumstances.

For that reason it is imperative that you keep all of your equipment in tip top shape and proper working order so that you’ll have “room” to defer that maintenance in a live event!

Definitely Watch It!

Carriers is a great survival horror film that is underrated and deserves more attention.

It is a great movie for preppers because it shows how things can go wrong very quickly in a pandemic situation, and it also has some great survival lessons in a realistic setting that tries to avoid the worst of the genre’s tropes. I highly recommend this film to all preppers!

Have you seen Carriers? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other Netflix Prepper Picks articles for more great films to watch!

last update 03/14/2022

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3 thoughts on “Carriers (2009) Review”

  1. I liked this movie. It makes you think a bit. Man you would have to worry about even talking to someone else. I have watched it a few times and it still holds up. It kind of has a corny story line but the acting is pretty good. Great pick.

  2. Four young attractive people …
    thank God they’re attractive! LOL

    sounds like a good movie though Rourke. there’s another one coming out soon about pandemic disease called “Contagion” . It’s supposed to follow the actual science of contageous disease very closely. comes out pretty soon I think.


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