Carriers (film)

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Promotional film poster
Directed byÀlex Pastor
David Pastor
Produced byAnthony Bregman
Ray Angelic
Written byÀlex Pastor
David Pastor
Music byPeter Nashel
Brick Garner
CinematographyBenoît Debie
Edited byCraig McKay
Likely Story
This is that
Distributed byParamount Vantage
Release date
  • September 4, 2009 (2009-09-04)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$5,802,422[1]

Carriers is a 2009 American post-apocalyptic horror film written and directed by Àlex and David Pastor. It stars Lou Taylor Pucci, Chris Pine, Piper Perabo, and Emily VanCamp as four people fleeing a viral pandemic.


An infectious virus has spread worldwide, killing almost the entire population. This disease is spread by breath.

Two brothers, Brian and Daniel "Danny" Green, along with Brian's girlfriend, Bobby, and Danny's school friend, Kate, are heading to Turtle Beach in the Southwestern United States, a secluded beach and motel where they believe they can wait for the viral pandemic to die out, so they can start a new life. They strictly follow a set of rules Brian created that they believe will keep them all alive and prevent them from becoming infected.

En route, they meet a man, Frank Holloway, and his infected young daughter, Jodie, whose Suburban has run out of gas, stranding them in the middle of a deserted back road. After driving off-road to get away from the pair, the group's car breaks down. The four end up returning to acquire Frank's car and are forced to take Frank and Jodie to a nearby high school where a serum for the pandemic is rumored to have been developed. Upon arrival they discover that the serum does not work, and the only doctor still alive is about to commit suicide with a remaining group of infected children (whom he plans to kill through non-voluntary euthanasia).

Meanwhile, Bobby is accidentally infected by Jodie, who coughs blood on her while Bobby is trying to help her stop choking. Bobby hides her infection from the others by wiping her face and hiding her blood covered shirt.

Jodie tells her father that she needs to use the toilet, but she is too weak to walk there alone. Frank carries Jodie to the toilet, telling Danny that he knows he's a good person (in hopes Danny will prevent the group from abandoning him and Jodie). However, despite Danny's protests, Brian leaves Frank and Jodie behind and takes their car.

After this, the four stop at a golf course hotel. Brian almost becomes infected after nearly slipping into a swimming pool containing the body of an infected man, but Danny manages to grab him in time. Bobby talks herself into believing she is not infected, as she is unsure that Jodie's blood contaminated her. However, despite Bobby's efforts to prevent it, Brian kisses her and inadvertently infects himself.

While Bobby berates Kate for believing her parents may still be alive, a small group of armed survivalists, who are using the golf course as a base, ambush and capture the group at gunpoint. After a tense Mexican standoff, they declare their intent to keep the girls. As they force the girls to disrobe to check them for infection, the men discover Bobby's rashes and bruises, and force the entire group away at gunpoint. Kate stresses that they will end up dead if Bobby continues to travel with them, and Brian ends up leaving a weeping Bobby behind at a deserted gas station.

The trio almost runs out of fuel but encounters two women driving toward them from the opposite direction. After Brian blocks the road with their Suburban, Danny asks the women for help, stating that he has a pregnant wife in the car and that he is a fellow Christian, but they refuse. A desperate Brian shoots them for their fuel when they try to drive away, and ends up being shot in the leg himself.

Danny breaks into a seemingly abandoned house in search of medical supplies to treat his brother's wound and is forced to shoot a stray dog that attempts to attack him.

Danny soon discovers that his brother is also infected while tending to Brian's wound. Kate urges Danny to leave Brian whilst he is sleeping, but as the two try to leave Brian wakes up, and Danny and Kate discover that Brian has the car keys. Brian refuses to give them to Danny unless he can continue to travel with them, despite Danny's pleas. Brian admits that he doesn't want to end up alone like the rest of the infected and tells Danny to shoot him if he wants the keys.

At Brian's urging, Danny shoots Brian, and burns his mask and infected body. Afterwards, Danny and Kate reach Turtle Beach. The movie ends with Danny wandering the beach alone, reminiscing of his childhood with his brother, wondering his uncertain future. Furthermore, due to his close proximity to an infected Brian while both weren't wearing masks close enough for Brian to breathe on him, Danny himself may be infected, leaving his fate ambiguous.



Filmed in New Mexico and Texas in late 2006, Carriers was not released by Paramount Vantage until September 2009, following the success of Pine's appearance in Star Trek, released earlier in 2009.[2][3]


Carriers was released on September 4, 2009, in US cinemas.[4] The DVD followed on December 29, 2009.[5] It grossed $908,000 in US and $5,802,422 worldwide.[1]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Kiernan Shipka was nominated for 'Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actress' at the Young Artist Awards (2010).[6]


Carriers received mixed reviews on Rotten Tomatoes based on 35 reviews with a 66% 'Fresh' rating. The movie was praised for its story, theme and acting performance but the critics focus on the movie's ending.[7]

Rob Nelson, a top critic from Variety wrote, "Put into extremely limited release by Paramount Vantage after spending years in studio lockdown, Carriers has moments of genuinely communicable horror and thus deserves better than a de facto theatrical quarantine." Paul Chambers from CNN Radio said, "A little more realistic than a zombie flick. Some renegade virus could make the world a "survival of the fittest" ordeal. A very interesting story with some nice reveals". Charles Cassady from Common Sense Media said: "Gloom, not thrills, in sci-fi drama of worldwide plague."[8]


  1. ^ a b Carriers at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  2. ^ Chrissinger, Craig W. (September 2009). "Carriers of the wasteland". Fangoria (286). New York. p. 32.
  3. ^ Carriers Archived September 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine at
  4. ^ Exclusive Clip: Carriers
  5. ^ Carriers Carried to DVD this December
  6. ^ 31st Annual Young Artist Awards. Retrieved May 1, 2012
  7. ^ "Carriers (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  8. ^ Carriers on Rotten Tomatoes, Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved September 16, 2011

External links[edit]