Terminal illness is a very real horror in everybody’s life. Very few people are lucky enough not have a friend or family member who has struggled with cancer or heart disease or some other untreatable ailment. Cell Count tries to tap into those emotions and asks the question, “What happens when the cure is worse than the disease?”
Russell Carpenter (Robert McKeehen) is a loving husband whose wife Sadie (Haley Talbot) is in the final stages of an unnamed terminal disease. Dr. Victor Brandt (Christopher Toyne) mentions to Russell that there is nothing more that he can do for her in the hospital, but there is a government facility that is working on an experimental cure. The only catch is that he would also need to be a part of the experiment.
We then skip ahead three weeks, when Russell wakes to find himself in what looks like a prison, only the cells are unlocked. In the common room he notices that there are five others with him, one being Sadie who looks healthy! However, things aren’t exactly what they seem. Our volunteers find out they are being “quarantined from the general populous” and some begin to have strange (and I mean really strange) side effects. Then the shit really gets real!!
I really wanna get more in depth in the synopsis, but that would just ruin a couple of fantastic surprises that writer/directer Todd E. Freeman has in store for you in Cell Count. The story is a simple premise, but one that easily makes us feel sympathy for the cast (something that is sorely missing in a lot of horror movies). Also worth noting, Cell Count looks phenomenal! The movie looks like a major studio film, not a self produced independent movie. The lighting and camera work are both top notch. The acting and special effects are also well above average for a lower budgeted flick. Blending equal parts science fiction with horror, Cell Count is the perfect recipe for what ails you!
My only complaint would be that when the movie was over, I felt like it had delivered more questions than answers. True, I’m a little simple minded, and honestly am not the biggest science fiction fan. However, I’m hopeful that someday we’ll be delivered a sequel (or continuation based on the ending) that will help fill in the blanks.
Regardless of my nitpicking, Cell Count is one of the better independent horror films I’ve seen this year! Look for Cell Count to be unleashed on the masses digitally on November 13th through itunes, Amazon, You Tube, PS3 Network, XBox Live, vudu, and cinemanow. You have no excuse! And as always, support independent horror cinema!