Why Watch? First “The Infected,” now “The Cured.” Almost all zombie movies feel like a first act, which is probably why several have found success as franchises with multiple entries, but even then the story typically devolves into military madness and a society on the outs. This short from David Freyne imagines something very different: what if we defeated zombies with a vaccine, but those who return to the land of living still remember chewing into their neighbors’ cheeks? Launching from a compelling concept (that’s totally plausible) The First Wave is a contemplative story told through flashbacks and a nagging question from a doctor. But it’s not all floating, ethereal angst. The opening frames are a slap to the face, and creative framing (and a score that echoes a deep sense of loss) should keep your eyes wide open. It’s not a talky examination of an existential crisis. Instead, it offers enough of one former zombie’s story to allow the air in the conversation necessary for the original question to make its way back to the viewer. What happens when, through no fault of your own, you become a monster made of violence and regret? What if the thing you ran screaming from calmly moved in again next door?