The cure is just the beginning

We’ve probably seen every type of zombie apocalypse film possible, but every once in a while we get a film that joyously surprises us. The First Wave did just that, with an intriguing, suspenseful and terrifying storyline, following the outbreak of an aggressive virus, a young woman awakes in a hospital bed. As the horrifying events that led her there are revealed, it becomes clear that the cure is just the beginning. ‘The First Wave’ is a prequel for the feature film, ‘The Third Wave’, which was written at the Binger FilmLab 2012.

I began to develop a feature script, The Third Wave, with an Irish production company, Tilted Pictures, in 2011. Once the script was ready to go out in 2013 we decided, ‘lets make a short film’, which is The First Wave. I had so many ancillary characters and stories from the development process that it was just a case of choosing the best one to write up. The origins story was a no brainer.

The First Wave basically shows how it all began, with the creation of a cure to this aggressive virus that spread through Ireland, transforming the infected into zombie-like monsters. It opens as a young woman, Allison, awakes in a hospital bed and from here the horrifying events that led her there are revealed through flashbacks of the outbreak.

For me the crux of it is that the cured remember everything they did while infected. It was the original starting point for the feature and the question I really wanted to raise in the short film. How do you live with the memories of killing and slaying, as if seen through trapped eyes? Can it really be called a cure?

Tension, music and story just flow to an eerie smoothness in this prequel film, where director David Freyne explains a fragment of the origins of an outbreak – just enough to not get overwhelmed with technicalities and leaving plenty of room for imaginations and assumptions. Even though we feel like we’ve seen every Zombie film possible, ‘The Third Wave’ seems like one we haven’t seen yet!