"For undead die-hards, the fact that this zombie movie stars Martin Freeman will be reason enough to watch — but those who have found themselves overfed on the genre might also consider giving it a shot. That’s because Yolanda Ramke, who wrote the screenplay and directed the film with Ben Howling, offers fresh settings and a compelling character. Mr. Freeman plays a father who gets bitten, and who must race against the onset of his illness to bring his young daughter to safety."
"The subtext of the film is the ruination of the land and its potential renewer in Aboriginal hands. It's remarkably tense and affecting, with Geoffrey Simpson's photography of our wide, brown land one of the key assets. All the performances are fabulous. Martin Freeman: stoic as the protective father, and young Simone Landers really impressive as Thoomi. Anthony Hayes does 'bad guy' so well - you can almost feel the malevolence seeping from his pores - and it's always beautiful seeing Gulpilil on screen. The music is at times a bit insistent, but it certainly ramps up the tension. Dany Cooper's and Sean Lahiff's editing is seamless. Ultimately, this is a compassionate film; its final scenes are really quite moving. It's a fine expansion of an original idea".
"This weekend, the latest Sad Zombie Movie hits Netflix: Cargo, which stars Martin Freeman as a man roaming the Australian outback with his infant daughter strapped to his back, trying to evade the prowling undead — and to get his baby to safety before he himself turns cannibal. It’s a thoughtful film about the limitlessness of a father’s love, with pesky zombies present to propel the story forward. In honor of the ennui-ridden movie, Vulture’s unpacking ten of our favorite emo zombie films, categorized based on your particular brand of existential terror."
"Mr. Freeman, the adept comic actor, is always good playing an ordinary joe, and here he portrays one in an extraordinary jam. The movie depicts his character's heroism without creating a "white savior" tale; instead, it advocates for community and community action".
Directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling talk about their experience directing their first feature film.
"I love it when genre films keep their supernatural strand on the periphery of the narrative, where it's woven in to evoke context and stakes, but it's a case of less is more, and it's the beating human heart of the story that commands the spotlight. My co-director, Ben, and I wanted to experiment with our own take on that with Cargo."
Deadline: ‘Cargo’s Martin Freeman Talks Baby-Carrying Zombies In Australia’s First Netflix Original Feature — Tribeca Studio
“That was around the time that The Walking Dead was in its zenith, and we were just really interested in dabbling in the zombie genre and seeing if there was something a little bit fresh that we could bring to that,” Ramke said, sitting down at Deadline’s Tribeca Studio with Howling, producer Kristina Ceyton and star Martin Freeman. “It all came out of this image of a zombie with a baby on its back.”
Cargo team: writer/co-director Yolanda Ramke, co-director Ben Howling, star Martin Freeman, and producer Kristina Ceyton (NB: producer Sam Jennings not pictured).
(Portrait by: Erik Tanner)
"Packed with social commentary on environmentalism and Australia’s own fraught history with its Aboriginal community, “Cargo” is a refreshing twist on a familiar genre trope, filled with big scares and tearful moments."
"Like A Quiet Place, Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke's addition to the beware-the-infected subgenre doubles nicely as a parental paranoia parable. It also gives Freeman a lovely showcase for his talent, as he cycles through caring, cautious and reluctantly carnivorous modes."
"Though limited in quantity, Tribeca’s “Midnight” program is always smartly curated for serious horror fans. Take this intimate post-apocalyptic nightmare set in the scraggly Australian outback, though a universe away from Mad Max. Martin Freeman plays a stressed-out family man grappling with zombie bites, a 48-hour rush toward the cure and an Indigenous kid who may be his salvation."
Nominees for the 2018 ADG Awards were announced today, with co-directors Yolanda Ramke and Danielle Baynes scoring a nomination for Best Direction of a Short Film for Cold Hearts.
"In the 2013 zombie short Cargo, a man (Andy Rodoreda) bitten by a zombie during an outbreak must find a safe haven for his infant daughter before he succumbs to the infection and turns bitey. The film was a viral sensation that scored over 14 million views on YouTube and was a finalist at that year's Tropfest short film festival. Now, five years later, it's been adapted to feature length by original filmmakers Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke, with Martin Freeman as the doomed and determined protagonist. We caught up with Ramke on the occasion of her speaking as part of Tropfest 2018's TropTalks series of lectures".
"As first reported in Screen International, Netflix swooped for the worldwide rights to this zombie thriller from the producers of The Babadook last year in a multi-million-dollar deal. The film is Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke’s collaborative debut, and is based on their short film from 2013, which garnered 12 million views online. Martin Freeman stars as a father who is stranded in rural Australia with only 48 hours to find a new home for his baby daughter, after being infected in the wake of a violent pandemic. It’s the first Australian film to sit under Netflix’s Originals banner."