"Infection" is a 2004 J-horror flick directed by Masayuki Ochiai (who also did Shutter and Parasite Eve), based on an episode of some television show that is irrelevant. The premise? Under-staffed, over-worked hospital decides to shut down the next day, so they only need to survive the night. A mysterious patient with a mysterious infection shows up at the same time the staff decides to cover up a medical mistake resulting in the death of a burn patient. Horror, guilt, psychological thrills, etc. ensue.

I've seen the film twice, and the first time it baffled me, which is strange, because I usually create a batshit-insane theory and stick to it with the force of a million stubborn donkeys. The ending threw off everything I had figured out about it, and caused me to question everything about it. Fast-forward half a year, I come back a bit more educated in the field of Artistic analysis and pretentious faggotry to discover an absolutely fucking brilliant film.

Before I lapse into Nerd Mode, I'll give a superficial review of it. "Infection" is a good horror film, making use of out-of-place imagery (like the old, senile woman) and its soundtrack to keep the suspense going. At the same time, there is no shortage of gross-out moments; green goop, blood and melting bodies are all common things to see. This is seen right off, in a strange voice-over scene in which an ambulance driver complains about a patient with a strange infection, which is good foreshadowing and mildly establishes an identity, but the imagery used here is more interesting: black screen, flashing ambulance lights, and grainy images of either bacteria or maggots. Or Ebolavirus; that's what I thought it was. "Infection" is solid for those having a boring Saturday night.

Beneath its guise of medical horror flick, "Infection" is really a psychological model of the characters. As revealed early on, the film deals heavily with the contrast between that which is real and that which is produced by the human mind/brain. Specifically, "Infection" is a story of guilt.

Imagery, particularly lighting and color (the latter is also referenced in the conversation describing the themes), most heavily convey the idea of guilt. Early on, everything can be taken literally, but it can also be noted that the color green is less common, with reds and whites being prominent, and the sets are brightly lit. This could easily be attributed to the time being day, but I doubt that, considering that the films climax is also day, while the events of deception take place in darkly-lit area's, and frequently have the color green present. If you just wanted a review and no spoilers, I suggest you leave. . . . NOW.

My theory about the convoluted plot is that the colors green and red represent falsehood and reality, respectively, and that the lapse into self-deception is brought on by the guilt of killing the burn patient. This is easily established by the colors of the two "central" patients, burn and sickness. The burn patient is red, showing what really happened, while the infected patient is green. It is revealed in the ending that the infected patient was brought to the hospital, but the EMT didn't leave him there. In other words, the hospital staff hallucinated his appearance.

Towards the beginning of the film, Doctor Uozumi is seen talking into a green phone to what we assume is his wife. The subject is money he needs to pay for his child. Based on the conversation, it can be assumed that this means he is divorced and paying child support. I bring this up to continue the thread of green meaning self-deception; towards the end of the conversation, he claims to love his child more than his wife, but he has an unsure look and tone to his voice. The phone he is using is likely public, and next to a smaller, less-important black one. Maybe I'm over-thinking, but I think this was meant to give the viewer an early understanding of the red-vs-green conflict.

With this theory in mind, the films ending becomes considerably easier to understand. Doctor Aika, who had been sleeping in the room next to the rest of the staff while they killed the burn patient, is revealed to have been a hallucination after he explains to Doctor Akiba that the disease is spread through the subconscious- ie, it's a mental thing, and adding to the idea of a guilt theme. A doctor who had left earlier then shows up and tells Akiba that he is talking to himself after it is revealed that Aika never existed, at least not as a doctor- he was the burn patient. It can be understood, then, that Doctor Aika was a manifestation of the staff's guilt. Because this new doctor wasn't there for the death of the burn patient, she see's nothing, but she does eventually find all of the dead bodies. She panicks and calls the police, while Akiba flee's the scene. Cops show up and evacuate the patients, not because an infection is around, but because a deranged killer is on the prowl. The doctor who shows the truth eventually begins to hallucinate herself after it is revealed that one of her patients died, whom had been left in the waiting room earlier for hours. Clearly, she is guilty upon being reminded of this, and so the red lights of ambulances and exit signs changes to green. Roll the credits.

I understand that I left a lot of the film out, but that's because the film is awesome enough to be the subject of a five-page college essay. I left out the ordeals of the pediatrician and euthanasia, for example, and they will remain outside of this review and analysis simply because I don't wish to spoil everything. If this isn't a great film, then it is at least a good film, and shame on you for being too lazy to watch it yourself!