|This article is missing information about the film's reception. (February 2015)|
|Directed by||Luke Thompson|
|Produced by||Michael Mazur
|Music by||Tom McLaughlan|
|Edited by||Burton DeWilde|
Decay is a 2012 horror film by Luke Thompson (of the University of Manchester), set at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The movie was created on a budget of $3,225 and was filmed over a period of two years by Thompson and his fellow physicists. The film was released online for free under a Creative Commons license. Decay was premiered on November 29, 2012, and centres on the idea of the Large Hadron Collider transforming scientists into zombies.
Thompson, a physics doctoral student, came up with the idea of the film while he was walking through the maintenance tunnels at CERN and began thinking that it would be a good location for a horror movie. In an interview with Wired, he stated that the film was initially started for fun, but that it was also an opportunity to "do some satirical commentary on various aspects of people’s perceptions of science".
A security guard is walking along the maintenance tunnel of Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN when he turns around, he meets a man (face is not shown) whom he recognizes, the guard informs the man that he is not supposed to be down there. The man proceeds to shoot the guard dead.
Connor and James are roommates and were at a party, the previous night. Amy is James's sister, she and Matt come over to Connor's and James's apartment to pick them up for work. All four of them are physicists at CERN working on the Large Hadron Collider. James works with the LHC, while the others analyze the data generated by the LHC. They are on their way to attend a emergency meeting at CERN. They have no idea why the meeting was called but Amy believes it cant be very important. At CERN they overhear Dr. Niven and Director General arguing over safety. Dr. Niven wants LHC to be stopped till he can assess the safety but Director General overrides his concerns and informs him that once the problem is fixed LHC would work normally and finding the Higgs boson is of utmost importance. Director General realizes that Connor, James and Amy are listening to them and he asks the security guard to shut the door.
At the conference room they meet Lisa, Lisa was supposed to be in Barcelona for a conference but she missed her flight due to last night's party. The director general addresses the attendees and informs them that the previous night there was a beam dump in LHC. The beam dump occurred because the beam sensors had detected that the monopole magnet at LHC segment 11G had quenched due to an unknown event, which triggered LHC to shutdown. He further warns, that if the event occurs again there could be an catastrophic accident at CERN. Dr. Niven is selected to take a team of technicians down to the LHC tunnel to investigate the cause of the incident and try to get the LHC running again. Director general requests for four volunteers be in the control room while Dr. Niven is busy. Connor volunteers for the task and the director general selects Connor, James, Amy and Lisa. Lisa bails out informing the director general that she has to attend a conference in Barcelona, so Matt is selected instead.
Amy is working on a task assigned to her by Dr. Niven, which involves simulating the impact of Higgs boson radiation on human tissues. The simulation fails because of some parameters, Dr. Niven proposes changes and requests Amy to try it. James introduces his girlfriend Kate to Connor, Amy and Matt. Kate works as a trainee nurse and joins them in the control room. Amy's simulation is crashing after the changes proposed by Dr. Niven, Connor proposes running the simulation on the mainframe computer instead of her laptop and grants her access to start the simulation on the mainframe. As Amy runs the simulation on the mainframe LHC beam monitor indicates that the LHC is up and running. James checks the system and realizes that the system has turned on its own and Amy had nothing to do with it.
The team led by Dr. Niven is still in the maintenance tunnel of LHC and they are at the risk of being exposed to radiation. James and Connor try to shutdown the LHC but they are not successful. The emergency shutdown switch is not working. The radiation alarm goes off and they decide to run away to avoid being exposed to the radiation. The elevator near the control room is not working and there is no mobile signal since they are over hundred meter below the ground. They decide to go down to the maintenance tunnel and James manually shuts down the LHC. Connor informs the group that the LHC cannot be turned on from the control room and neither do they have access rights to turn on the LHC. Since LHC is off now, they can use the elevator in maintenance tunnel to get out and they believe that the team lead by Dr. Niven is dead due to radiation.
As they walk through the maintenance tunnel, they are attacked by the technicians of the team led by Dr. Niven and Kate is captured. Connor, Amy, James and Matt lock themselves up in a room and James uses the coolant to scare away the technicians. Amy and Connor realize that the technicians had radiation burn marks on their skin and cannot comprehend how the technicians are still alive. Connor finds another way out of the room and they head back into the maintenance tunnel where they find the dead body of the security guard killed at the beginning of the movie. They find the interlock array and it is destroyed which indicates sabotage. They are again attacked by the technicians, so they decide to find a mainframe to contact somebody for help. On their way, they are attacked again and this time James in bitten.
They finally find the mainframe server room, James wants to check if Kate is still alive. Amy and Connor work on the mainframe consoles to breach the firewall to ask for help but are not successful. Finally the results of Amy's simulations comes up, it indicates that the boson radiation has the capability to destroy human brain. This makes them realize that the technicians are all dead and have become zombie like. Amy and James head back into the maintenance tunnel. They find the director general's security guard dead and James recovers a gun from the guard. Finally they find Kate's dead body and the zombies have mutilated it. Meanwhile Connor is studying the simulation data and somebody triggers deletion of the result. Amy and James comeback to the mainframe server room. Connor informs others that only the Director General has rights to delete the data.
James and Connor manage to unlock all the door using the mainframe console. Finally James succumbs to injury and turns into a zombie and attacks others. Matt bolts leaving Connor and Amy to defend themselves. Connor shoots James, Amy and Connor go back to the maintenance tunnel and are attacked by the zombies. Connor is beaten and Amy shoots him when he turns. Zombies escape the maintenance tunnel through the unlocked doors and attack people outside. Amy is chased by zombies but she manages to elude them. Matt is attacked and eaten alive by the zombies.
Amy manages to reach the surface and is chased by the zombies. She goes to Dr. Niven's office to collect data about his simulation to collect evidence against the Director General. She calls up Lisa on her mobile to inform her that the Director General is responsible for the deaths at CERN but she is redirected to the voice mail. The Director General enters Dr. Niven's office picks up the gun left behind by Amy and points it at her. Amy manages to get an confession out of Director General, as he is about to pull the trigger it is shown that Amy had not disconnected the call and that the confession has gone to Lisa's voice mail. The screen goes black and sound of gunshot is heard.
- Zoë Hatherell as Amy
- Tom Procter as Connor
- Stewart Martin-Haugh as James
- Sara Mahmoud as Kate
- William P. Martin as Matt
- Eduard Friesen as Director General
- Kurt Rinnert as Dr. Niven
- Jenn Strauss as Lisa
Thompson began filming in 2010 and took two years to complete Decay, with the film's crew having to borrow cameras and create special effects on a limited budget. CERN gave permission for Decay to be filmed at the research center with the stipulation that they not film in any of the facility's more sensitive areas.
Decay was released on 8 December 2012  for download and streaming via YouTube and Vimeo.
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- "http://www.decayfilm.com/2012/decay-released-online.html". Decay Official Website.