Let's Explain Why The Cured Movie is an Amazing Story of Grace
I'll clarify the movie The Cured and why it's your new favorite movie - or how fantastic is it that an independent film like this movie can tell such a universal story of our desire for grace and forgiveness. IMDB
4.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (9 Votes)

You can’t beat a clever premise’d movie. Take for example The Quiet Place and its glorious movie premise. Great movie premises are so obvious and simple, and yet, so fantastic simultaneously. That’s what we have here with the movie The Cured.

The setup is simple. A world zombie outbreak has rocked the world. But eventually the world cured the zombies stalking the planet. And the only problem? The Cured still remember everything about being a zombie and they have done horrible, terrible things while zombiefied. And, on top of that? The world has begun releasing the cured zombies back into the general population after living in containment centers.

Come on! That is a fantastic backdrop to plant your story in. It’s brilliant. What do you do if you are a father, greeting your son that has just come back home, and oh by the way, your son happened to have eaten his mother? See?!? Hahahaha. That is the definition of a complicated story! Here, if you have to, check out this trailer. But my hope is I’ve already sold you on the idea and you are already finding a copy of the movie and watching it.

Hey! From here on out we are going to deep dive into this movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really need to not read this review. Because it will trash a really good movie. Ok? Seriously. Spoiler warnings from here on out!

The Cured Deep Dive Walk Through

As I said, the movie kicks off with one of the greatest setups ever. Incredibly brilliant. A global zombie outbreak has occurred. But eventually it was contained. The zombies were captured and placed in containment facilities. And eventually a cure was found for 75% of those that were infected. 25% remained resistant to the cure. The controversial bit? The Cured were beginning to be released back into the world. And like returning prisoners, they are definitely not wanted in society. In fact, they are releasing the third and final wave of the Cured back, and simultaneously embarking on a project to exterminate the remaining resistant zombies.

COME ON! That is so much goodness. I mean, is this an even subtle conversation about the IRA and the battles fought there in Ireland over the last centuries? Is it a discussion about police brutality and our inhumanity to those we try to “rehabilitate”? Is just a general discussion of man’s overarching inhumanity to man? Is it a discussion of our own sin nature and the battle internally to fight against the desire to do something horrible? Yes! It’s all of these thing of course. Sorry, I am horrible at staying on track. It’s a good thing I don’t have an editor attempting to clean up this mess, I’d pay through the nose to get this right mess cleaned up!

So, as the final Cured begin coming out, they all have a rough time of it. “They treat us like lepers… it’s better inside than out.” they say to one another. And soon the Cured begin getting parol officers that check up on them regularly. The Cured are given menial jobs unlike the jobs they had before they were infected. These are the left over jobs of society. And they are told that they have to learn to obey and then everything will be just fine.

The Cured Zombies Remember

One of the greatest motifs or inventions of this story is that the cured zombies remember everything they did while they were zombies. While mindlessly killing, eating, converting humans, they remembered all of it. And now? After being cured, they are strapped with these horrible memories of these horrible things that they have done.

Hahahah. Which. I have to say… is basically what it is like to be a human. There are things that I remember that I have done… and they hit me like a wave. The meanness of the act. The idiocy of a lie. The horribleness of a thought? And I am instantly filled with regret. Like for example, my best friend through high school (I’m really hoping that no one I know from this time period reads my blog because, damn. But here goes anyway.) was an awesome gal. Gorgeous, absolutely perfect woman. We did everything together and spent literally decades on the phone each night. My parents assumed we were dating. But, as far as I know anyway, we never did, in spite of seeing more movies with her than I have really with anyone else on the planet probably. And more times out to eat than I can count. Anyway. Well, it came to be that I was dating another gal, and I decided I was moving on with this best friend of mine, and wasn’t going to be spending as much time with her anymore. Well, the book Les Liaisons Dangereuses and the movie based on it Dangerous Liaisons, were my absolute favorite things in the world at the time. And I thought that it would be a good idea to let her know I was moving on and then to reaffirm it by restating, “It’s beyond my control” over and over again every time she asked why. If you know that movie, you know that book, then you know what a central moment that was to the book. (And sure, ok, maybe I was a little offended that she rebuffed my initial advance years prior and I never followed up because of the pain of that rebuff. But I digress.) But even so, possibly the single meanest thing I’ve ever done to another human. She basically unhinged psychologically she was so mad. It was really really a mean, horribly mean thing for me to do.

Regardless, occasionally the memory of that moment hits me out of the blue. Just completely broadsides me, T-bones me where I stand, and it can even take my breath away. But these memories of former atrocities are real, human experiences that everyone has. Maybe that isn’t a thing for you. (Congratulations. And thanks for making me feel horrible about myself!!) But the fact that these film makers have made me identify with a cured zombie? Hahaha. Is flipping brilliant. But to be clear, you don’t need to be a cured zombie – struggling with the pain of your monster path – to have this problem.

And when Anna chats with Conor, a Cured, ex-barrister who is now a cleaner, she asks what it was like. And his response was one of our first windows into what they went through, and what he tells her is that it was hell. That it was horrible fighting yourself while locked in the cage that is your body. ‘But what they don’t say is what happens when you stop fighting, and you just go with it.’

The Search For a Cure to the Resistant

Senan (Sam Keeley), the movies narrator, and Cured Zombie, is released in the third wave, and is picked up by his sister-in-law Anna (Ellen Page). Her husband was killed in the zombie apocalypse, by his own brother Senan actually. And when Anna finds out she flips completely out and forces him to leave. But that is later. Now though, Senan is put to work at the scientific research facility in charge of finding a cure to the resistant strain, and that had found the first cure.

I have to say that this is a play similar to World War Z, I am legend, and nearly every zombie movie ever made. That the movie hews closely to the science and the scientists attempting to cure the Zombies and find the solution to this horrifying problem. So there were two problems the scientists needed to solve in this world. Apparently. There was a cure to this zombie infestation. And then there was a cure necessary to a resistant strain necessary as well.

And there is a female zombie that seems extraordinarily important to Dr. Lyons. The chief scientist searching for a cure. But we get a hint at first that this female zombie is extraordinarily important to the doctor. And later on we learn that she is her love. And that makes this sideline quest of hers all the more poignant. And Senan? He was there in this research center to help restrain the zombies as Dr. Lyons works on them.

But in this movie, the science, the cure? Is actually secondary. It’s a cool secondary thread. But still secondary. The movie is actually about forgiveness. It’s actually about restitution in spite of horrific wrongs commuted. I’d argue, that the movie is really about our desperate need for grace in this terrible thing called life. I have wronged so many. I am in desperate need for this thing called grace. To be restored and to be reunited in spite of our flaws. I told you of my enormous screwup with my high school best friend. And my concern? That you’ll think less of me as a result of this terribly mean thing that I did to her. And yet? That is just the tip of the proverbial ice berg.

The Cured Uprising

One of the most interesting parts of the movie was how these Cured and downtrodden individuals banded together and began a resistance movement. They have been a pariah too long, and hated too long. And so they begin to plan to fight back. So they recruit Senan in order to use his connection to Dr. Lyons and the resistant zombies. And at first, Senan is all in. But then he realizes the danger he puts Anna and her son in. So he walks away. But through several twists, Conor forces Senan back into helping them. And their plan is simple, they are going to utilize the doctor and promise her they will break her girlfriend free. But instead they release them all simultaneously, which starts a new outbreak. 8,000 new humans are killed or turned.

More importantly, Dr. Lyons realizes that she has cured the resistant strain, and that her zombie girlfriend was cured with her last treatment. But immediately upon reconnecting, Dr. Lyons is killed by an attacking zombie.

As the wave of chaos spreads through the city, Anna realizes the trouble they are in, grabs an axe and proceeds to kill a zombie. But then she’s hauled into a military truck and restrained from going after her son. But seeing Senan, she yells for him to go get her son. So, not to put too fine a point on it, but this is his chance at redemption. After Anna found out that Senan killed her husband and flipped completely out, it was obvious she was going to have nothing to do with Senan ever again. And yet, here is his opportunity to save Anna’s boy.

So Senan runs to the school to get him. And Conor and Senan have a bloody show down that Senan eventually wins… and he is able to get Cillian back to the house where they meet up with Anna. (Meanwhile, Anna had to break out of the quarantine in order to get back to them.) But out of the blue, Cillian and Anna are attacked by a zombie, and Cillian is bitten. So Cillian is going to die… well, become a zombie anyway. But Senan has a plan. And takes the boy back to the research facility to get him the cure that he needs.

Explain The Ending of The Cured Please

When I watched the ending of the movie, I was so so confused. Why is her house a mess? Why can’t we see who else is in the house? Why are we staring at Anna? And why are Senan and Cillian just walking through a field?!? I was literally hitting rewind on the video to watch the ending over again when it suddenly became clear.

After Senan and Cillian went to Dr. Lyon’s lab to cure Cillian, the political climate was changing as a result of the outbreak. 8,000 more infected and a dead lead scientist meant that they were going to keep killing the zombies. So in order to stay safe, something was going to have to change. They weren’t going to be able to stay in the city.

Another problem? Anna couldn’t stay at the house, so she had to leave, and make her way back to the quarantine. She wouldn’t have survived otherwise. And so we see her coming back to find Senan. And when she walks in she is overwhelmed at what she is seeing. And that is, markings on maps showing where Senan was going to take Cillian. Which, means that Cillian is alive. And from here, Anna will need to venture out of the city to rejoin the two of them.

So What did The Cured Mean Though?

Personally I found The Cured riveting. And the conversation this movie should kick up, should be robust and in depth around our own personal lives. Because I see it just as a metaphor for our desire and need for grace today. Think back to Senan, and his terrible nightmares that he was having throughout the movie. Nightmares of attacking Cillian. Nightmares back to his time as a zombie. And think back to my little story about “It’s beyond my control”. You have your own stories like that. And sure, I’ve done worse things in my life, but the stories that flash back to me like Senan’s flashbacks are the ones that impact good people directly. And this movie is saying, if you have horrible memories, it means you are human. If you don’t? (Like Conor didn’t) it means that you are a real monster.  Which, says to me, that if you are a normal human, you are desperately in search of forgiveness and grace. And we are all in desperate need for forgiveness and grace.

Which is totally why I love movies and stories crafted by other humans. They continually write stories that resound to the human condition. They tell stories of loss and of desires for connection. They tell stories of reconciliation and the desire for forgiveness. Which? Is just another vantage about the need for reconciliation with our Creator. Why yes, I happen to be a Christian, which is why I find these motifs so intriguing and so compelling. But whether you are a Christian or not it doesn’t matter. Because these stories matter to all of us as humans. And these humans tell such great stories that really matter to all of us! So great.

What did you think of the movie? Am I smoking crack with my view of the movie? What did you see as you watched it?

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24 Responses

  1. Happy Pancake

    Perhaps a dumb question, but how do you mean “grace” in the context of this movie?

  2. Taylor Holmes

    Abbie first hated Senan for killing her husband. Then, she realized that holding him accountable for his sins was fruitless. She realized her own salvation was wrapped up in her giving Senan forgiveness and grace. Maybe I’ll make my title more clear in the body! hahahah.

  3. MariVal B Bayles

    Thank you for the excellent review and insights. I was really confused about the ending. I enjoyed the movie. It was an unique zombie movie.

  4. Zombie Fan

    I just want to add that this concept of cured zombies is far from original. If you really liked this movie’s plot line, then watch the amazing series In the Flesh that first touched the major political hypotheticals that the Cured has. And did it extremely well.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey Zombie Fan,
      Will do! Totally will do. I admit, I’m not a huge Zombie fan. I mean, any more than the next guy. But I am a huge dystopian/post-apocalyptic movie fan, which, has enormous Venn Diagram overlaps happening usually. Slow walking, mindless beasts? Meh. End of the world chaos, survival issues… oh by the way, there a zombie looking to have my leg for dinner? I’m in. hahaha. But yeah, I’ll check it out! Thanks.


  5. Luke

    Thanks for explaining the ending, never ever would have figured that out on my own. My main feeling after watching this is that forgiveness is the greatest cure there is. When you think about how many more people died because of the grudge against the cured, which in turn lead to the cured forming a grudge against them, it’s such a ridiculous cycle. I think it boils down to everyone having a moment that haunts them and all they really wanna feel is there is someone out there who have done worse. That way If your not the worst guy then you must be a good guy. Like maybe I’m an angry military guy whose parents never approved of him, but that guy ate his parents, so I guess I’m actually pretty awesome, but at the same time that guy reminds me of myself so I guess I better hate him so nobody thinks I’m like him. If you think of forgiveness as our cure given to us by the crucifixion then doesn’t it make sense to keep passing along that cure as much as possible instead of hoarding it and allowing the virus to grow back.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Nice. I’m picking up what you are putting down here Luke. That is the way of the world for us to be repulsed to a bad person so that we can seem good. To hide the fact that we too are horrible. Evil isn’t graded on a cure. It is, or it isn’t. And so we are trapped in this perception of convincing everyone else how fantastic we are, when in fact we are just as bad as everyone else… WORSE even, because of the way we are treating others. And yes, if you have been ultimately forgiven, then why would you try and hide that away? Why wouldn’t you try and share it with absolutely anyone and everyone you could?!?

      You’ve been a busy beaver Luke. Lots of movie watching at your house!

  6. Kathleen

    Taylor, I also thank you for explaining the movie’s ending. I noticed the maps but just couldn’t piece it together. What the heck was she smiling about????? Now I can relax and smile, too! Kind of….

    I am not a horror or zombie fan but could not stop watching The Cured. Maybe because it’s an Irish film or the excellent acting but I was mesmerized throughout.

  7. Kelly Richardson

    I enjoyed the movie but couldn’t figure out the ending either. How did you put that together? How was he able leave a map for her since she was in quarantine?? Please explain.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey Kelly,
      It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen the movie. But I think I remember. So, she headed to quarantine just to stay safe from the outbreak. Which means, she was far away from their house. But he (sorry, I’m forgetting all their names right now) is able to get to the boy, take him to the house, and indicate on the maps where he would be going. But he also had told her about the place, so she was familiar. But then the mother, the Ellen Paige character, breaks through the quarantine, heads back to the house looking for her boy and finds the map. Right? Anybody else able to confirm that this is right? I think I’m close anyway.

      Hope that helps.

  8. Jody Austin

    If I recall correctly, there was a news bulletin stating that with the death of Dr. Lyons, the government was going to put down the remaining zombies. They also mentioned that 20 zombies were found in western Ireland and the military was moving in to evacuate the people and kill any zombies they found. Killian is still a zombie so the cure is no longer an option. The government has decided to destroy any zombies they find thanks to Conor’s rebellion. I think Senan is on the run trying to keep Killian from hurting people in the hopes of obtaining the cure. I think Anna breaking down at the end was due to her realizing that Killian will never be cured. He will likely be killed.

  9. Lisa

    It’s one of those up in the air endings that leaves it up to the watcher to decide what will play out. Will Cillian and Senan have to stay on the run or will they be able to get the cure for Cillian? I think she’s just relieved to see they are still alive at all at the end point. There’s still hope.

  10. DebbieAnn

    Can someone explain why Conner’s election posters are up whilesge was walking back at the end of the movie?!? Did he become some political figure? Cause those posters were not there during the movie…I still don’t get the ending….what was the news saying about the dead scientist? I just got done watching it for the first time I’m so late lol

  11. Alys

    It’s been weeks, if not months, since the outbreak when you see Anna coming home at the end of the film. I think all the maps are hers, and she’s been tracking reports of infected, as that’s where Senan and Cillian will be! You can see she’s enthralled, and happy even, at hearing the urgent news story – as it’s a report of more infected. And it’s giving her hope that Cillian is still alive.

    The rest of your theory I think is spot on. Senan couldn’t cure Cillian, and so they’re on the run as the government are currently just killing all infected and not offering the cure.

  12. Alys

    I believe after the second outbreak, Connor gained some traction and is obviously running some sort of political campaign. I think it said 8000 new infected, which the government are proposing to straight up kill – they don’t want to risk trying to cure them again. But all those infected have friends and family, so there’s suddenly a flood of infected sympathisers who will support Connor in his campaign to have them cured. I suppose he only really wants them cured so he can add them to his little army of cured terrorists and probably cause another outbreak…

  13. Jane

    This is an appallingly bad film review. Repetitive (you repeated the same plot breakdown twice at the outset for starters), poorly written with an unprofessional and overly informal tone (“am I smoking crack” a particularly crude example, as well as multiple exclamation marks when there should have been zero) slow paced and it didn’t expound upon the title of the review – the theme of grace was not explored.

    You also spelt the child’s name wrongly throughout- it is Cillian not Killian.

    Just terrible, please don’t review anything else.

  14. Katy

    Very classy reply to critique Taylor, I commend you. This will be my first post in a public space in about 10 years but you give me hope for humanity. Personally I came here for clarity on the ending and enjoyed the full review but not as much as I enjoyed your graceful reply to Jane.

    • Taylor Holmes

      Well thanks for coming out of a ten year slump to say such kind things to me! I am very privileged. Keeping as many plates spinning as I do on this site, I have to realize that perfection just is never an achievable goal. But we can always learn to do better. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the review. And I do appreciate the kind words. There are other examples here on this site where I didn’t respond as well I am sure. Oh fun! A scavenger hunt!!

      Take care Katy – and don’t be a stranger. There are a lot of movies like this one on these pages.


  15. The Cured was Dumb

    I feel like this movie did not take advantage of the most interesting aspects of its premise. I may get some small details wrong but I think I captured the big picture stuff acurately enough to give you an idea of why this movie is dumb. Some of my critiques might not be completely on point and please feel free to critique these points. I wanted to like this movie and I was really excited to watch it. I’m on this forum because I was looking for more explanation since the movie left me confused and with many questions. I invite you to pick apart my criticisms, I’d love to be proven wrong or swayed because I certainly could’ve missed things or misinterpretted them!

    One scene in particular that particularly bugged me was when Dr. Lyons saw that her lover was behaving differently from the rest of the zombies after the Cured Alliance released the resistant infected from their cells. After dedicating time and energy as the lead scientist fighting for the right to try and cure the resistant, she finally thinks she might have made a meaningful advance that MIGHT have cured her lover and justified all of the work and sacrifice she’d experienced. She then rushes into her lover’s cell WHERE A HOARD OF INFECTED WAS JUST RELEASED on the off chance her lover is cured. We already saw Dr. Lyons mistakenly think her lover was cured when she saw her lover sitting up on the bed, so I thought that perhaps she would be attacked by her lover, or infected when she kissed her. But no, she was miraculously cured against all odds. In this heavy moment where the doctor’s work came to fruition, the movie then reduces all of this into a cheap jump scare to kill her in the most meaningless way possible just to get you to flinch since you thought she was safe because she didn’t get attacked or infected by her lover a la 28 Weeks Later. What could have been used as a tool to add depth and emotion by letting the characters experience an intense sense of happiness, loss, regret, etc was thrown away for no one’s benefit but the viewer’s for helping to bring this dumb movie to a close sooner.

    Other things I thought were dumb, not in chronological order at all sorry:

    Why was there a zombie just waiting in the house for Abbie and Cillian and Senan? This doesn’t make any sense AND it’s just dumb lazy storytelling (I’m dumb and lazy so I’ll keep using that term because it will come up a few times).

    When Ellen Page went into that quarantine area, why were there protesters there when there was an active infection threat? Don’t they have better things to do? I can only hope that they became infected so they can be part of the cured and live second class life they were subjecting the cured to.

    Why did Ellen Page run into a zombie right in the quarantine (I think)?

    I got chills when Connor put his head down and did the zombie nod/communication thing with the other zombie (who was promptly shot which abruptly ended the cool avenue they were hinting at exploring). Lazy and incredibly short sighted story telling.

    The Cured in the Cured Alliance at one point get into a circle with their heads down and do this same behaviour. So creepy and interesting and different from anything else in the genre and then they do nothing to explore it! What a waste. This could have been so interesting and novel and they did not run with it.

    How did the zombies not get the kid under the car? Again, lazy without achieving anything. It could’ve been more exciting or more logical

    Also, they were both zombies in gowns which meant they were from the original wave of a couple dozen zombies Cured Alliance released. How did they make it so far? There was also a zombie in a gown in the final scene with Senan carrying Cillian. How did those original zombies not get killed right off the bat?

    When Connor is shot while attacking Senan with the pipe while Zombies chase Cillian, why does the soldier not come check it out? Perhaps they thought Connor was a zombie attacking someone, but then they didn’t kill Senan who would’ve presumably become infected if he were a normal person? What a dumb way to end that altercation and allow both to live without having anything meaningful happen (like Senan finally beats Connor and decides to spare him! WOW after Connor bit him and inflicted him with this curse Senan shows mercy and forgiveness! NOPE! He’s shot, not killed, and escapes with no character devlopment).

    In 5 years, 20,000 people were infected in Ireland. This is about the rate of dementia in the country (4000 per year). While everyone may have a friend who’s family member has dementia, I would not necessarily describe that as the country being “ravaged” (outside of the sheer brutality of zombies killing and eating people haha). But then those 20-50 infected that are released ON A MILITARY BASE (where the soldiers with automatic weapons are equipped to deal with the infected) then go on to infect 8000 people which presumably took 2 YEARS during the first infection. They would have been much better off leaving numbers out of this than picking numbers that feel both too low and too high.

    Also, were the soldiers peeing on that one zombie in her cell when Senan interrupts them? What was that all about?

    Overall a dumb movie with plot holes the size of trucks. Anytime you think they are about to start exploring the most interesting pieces of the world where the cured remember they go for the cheap thrill option while simultaneously making the story unbearably boring in the process. Don’t waste your time.

  16. Rich

    Watch the series “In the Flesh.” It’ll be a revelation for you. Can’t believe you didn’t know about it already, considering how amazing you thought this premise was.


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