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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: (8 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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20 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.


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