Warner Bros. Pictures.
An Pan-Seok’s “The End of the World” miniseries (2013) appears to be an intelligent, if a little understated, Korean epidemiological thriller. I was engaged enough by the first episode to rate it a 7 out of 10, and I’ll probably keep watching it to give the show a chance.
It reminded me of Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” (2011), though the dramatic elements here are even more underplayed — at times the first episode even felt like a documentary. It’s a bit slow, but it really looks like screenwriter Park Hye-Reon has done his homework. (The miniseries was based on the novel “Infectious Disease,” by Bae Young-Ik.)
Assuming the series retains the tone and pace of its pilot episode, I believe this would appeal to only serious fans of disease thrillers. To them, I’d recommend it.
The poster for The CW’s new “Containment” seems like a ripoff for some exceptional poster art for 2007’s outstanding horror movie, “28 Weeks Later.” That is just one of a few offhand references that the TV pilot seems to make to the film. At one point, a panicked character blurts out the phrase “zombie apocalypse,” even though that has nothing to do with the plot.
Whatever. Judging from the pilot, the new sci-fi thriller seems like a more or less average outing. It isn’t bad, exactly, but it’s got plenty of room to grow. Right now it seems like a undistinguished, mainstream television treatment of “Contagion” (2011). I’d give it a 6 out of 10.
And, hey … just to add to the confusion, last year there was a really good British independent sci-fi-thriller, also entitled “Containment,” that also portrays a fatal disease outbreak. I reviewed it here at the blog. It almost seems like The CW is adopting the “mockbuster” strategy of capitalizing on viewers’ confusion of their show with superior properties.