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film news

Cargo - The Movie Industry’s Latest Take on a Post-Apocalyptic World

Posted by Harry Hughes on Monday, June 12, 2017

One of the time-tested tropes for the movie industry has always been how and when the world might end. Think back over the years and there have been plenty of blockbuster imaginings on how we might all meet our doom. From way back in 1951 when When Worlds Collide was released, through to films like The Rapture in 1991 and The Road in 2009, there are plenty of these kinds of films around. Most of them are pretty bleak - but then that’s fair enough when we’re talking about the destruction of our planet and the population on it.

In the end of the world movies produced so far, many have a fictional basis, such as a plague with a zombie mutation that means the human population is wiped out as infection spreads, but there are also some that have been based on real scientific conjecture, with either a meteor crash or a pandemic leading to the end of the world.

Cargo goes for the zombie predicament

This year sees the release of Cargo, where the plot focuses on what happens in a post-apocalyptic world. The Australian production is due for release on Netflix this year. Martin Freeman plays Andy, who is bitten by his zombie wife in rural Australia and then has 48 hours to get his baby daughter, Rosie, to a safe place. Andy is doomed to die, but he'll do all in his power to safeguard his little girl's future and find her a new guardian.

But just how probable is the scenario that we'll ever face a zombie invasion? According to an infographic about different ways in which the world might end that's been produced by 888poker, there's a 1/1000 chance of zombies causing our destruction. And it's comforting to find out that if it ever were to happen, 25% of people say that if they'd been bitten by a zombie, they'd run away from survivors in order to protect their fellow men.

According to the same infographic, a zombie apocalypse is more likely than a mega monster such as Godzilla or King Kong destroying the human race - the odds of that happening are 1/159 million, and 10% of people think that the human population would be able to withstand the arrival of a King Kong or Godzilla. 

If any huge event were to cause the end of the world, it's more likely to be something that's got a scientific basis to it. For instance, the chances of an asteroid hitting the earth and destroying it are around 1/63,000 - which is still a long shot, of course. There's also the possibility that man will cause his own demise - through the detonation of nuclear weapons. This is a well-worn apocalyptic movie trope and on the same infographic, the 1/30 odds of a nuclear weapon causing the end of the world are very short in comparison to some of the other possibilities. Films such as Mad Max and Fallout have already shown us what that kind of post-apocalyptic world would look like, with the majority of the world’s population killed immediately or very soon after in the radiation fallout. 

We already know how Cargo will end 

The 2017 release of Cargo is actually a feature-length remake of a 2013 short film with the same title, which gained a cult following online, with a total of 12 million views.

Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke wrote the original seven-minute short film, and the same duo have written the script for the 2017 version. The film has been produced by Kristina Ceyton and Samantha Jennings, who also produced the horror movie Babadook.

In his struggle to get his daughter to safety, Andy faces numerous challenges and death-defying situations and while it’s a dark movie, the presence of baby Rosie adds a layer of hope about human spirit in the post-apocalyptic world they are struggling to survive in. Actor Martin Freeman seemed keen to suggest that Cargo isn't simply another zombie movie - in an interview he suggested that it's a drama that's all about familial ties. There just happen to be some zombies in the story! 

Much of the film focuses on who Andy will entrust his daughter to before the infection takes hold of him, and how he goes about making an alliance with the Aborigine father and daughter he wants to care for his child. This gives the film a lot more depth than that many previous zombie movies have had.

Cargo may be the latest in the line of end of the world movies, but given our appetite for watching them, it’s unlikely to be the last!

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