Short zombie film will break your heart

Made for and shortlisted as a finalist in this year's Tropfest, short zombie film Cargo is about a dad who will transcend death to save his daughter.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

Made for and shortlisted as a finalist in this year's Tropfest, short zombie film Cargo is about a dad who will transcend death to save his daughter.

We've seen angry zombies, extremely gory zombies, shuffling zombies and smart zombies. We think it's pretty safe, in fact, to say that the whole "zombie" thing has pretty much played itself out (although that probably won't stop it from shuffling along tiredly all the same).

What we haven't seen a great deal of in zombies is poignancy and humanity. There's John Ajvide Lindqvist's Handling the Undead and perhaps Shaun of the Dead, just a little, at the end.

And now there's also Cargo, an Australian short film by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke. It's not about the scares and the gore (although there is a little bit of the latter). Instead, it takes a real human dilemma and puts it smack bang in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

Eschewing the exposition about how the apocalypse came about, it starts with our unnamed protagonist, who's been bitten, with a young child to somehow get to safety. His solution is both ingenious and heartbreaking, elevating zombie fiction in a way we always hoped was possible.

This year's key object for Tropfest is a balloon. You can view the rest of the finalist films here.

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