Take a mild dose of the rage virus from 28 DAYS LATER, mix it up with the familiar media hysteria of swine flu or whatever epidemic is current, add in a suburban Italian setting, and this will give you a flavour of THE GERBER SYNDROME.
Set in the early days of a pandemic, the film follows a young doctor having to treat the daughter of a family friend following an attack by a vagrant and whose condition is rapidly deteriorating.
This narrative is intercut with footage of a ‘central security’ operative whose job it is to round up people in the final stages of infection as they become very violent and disoriented, but also very slow – and very contagious. Shot as a documentary, this movie is totally believable, from the reactions of the people, down to the camera crew appearing in shot and getting shouted at for being in the way, or intruding where they are not wanted. It is this realism that keeps the viewer engrossed all the way through to the unexpected ending.
Not to make light of the horrific problems happening in Africa with Ebola, but this film gets pretty close to how a virus might spread and effect modern Europe. We think we can cope with anything and that may be our downfall.