“Containment” (2015) is the film that sounds cliche but isn’t. It’s a surprisingly fresh take on an old standby — diverse people isolated by an outside threat are forced to cope and survive with each other, along with the threat. In this case, an entire apartment block in Britain is forcibly and mysteriously quarantined overnight; residents awaken to sealed doors and hazardous materials units being deployed along the grounds.
But this is a smartly written independent sci-fi thriller that avoids a lot of common tropes. Then it introduces plot developments that are unexpected, yet make perfect sense. It’s more original than you’d guess at first.
There’s a lot of nice acting, including work by Lee Ross, and by Louise Brealey of “Sherlock” (2010) fame. And all those moody establishing shots of the tomb-quiet building were creepily effective.
My only complaint was a thematically ambiguous ending that seemed lost on me. But I’d still give this an 8 out of 10.