The Survivalist

A well-acted thriller set in post-apocalyptic foliage.

Most post-apocalyptic films focus on the water shortage (“Tank Girl”) or even gasoline (“The Road Warrior”. This film has famine as its hazard. It starts in a survivalist’s cabin that has food among starving people who don’t. As a result, conflict happens.

The Survivalist (2015)
Cast
Mia Goth

as Milja

Martin McCann

as Survivalist

Barry Ward

as Forager

Directed by
Stephen Fingleton
Written by
Stephen Fingleton
Other Info

Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated PG-13
1h 44min

An excellent film that captures attention with no emotion. The people we see here are shells of their former selves. Like “Mad Max” the world as we know it has been destroyed. People are scavengers making their way to survival. The “Survivalist” played by Martin McCann has fond a way to farm his own food. When I say food, I’m talking about things like leeks and radishes. It’s humble to be sure. Still, in a world that is starving, he is like a king. Furthermore, thieves would love to have their way with his produce and they are constantly trying to do so.

While the film starts out showing us nifty survival stuff, that passes. After that it is a subdued dialog between few drifters and most notably, an old woman and her daughter played by Mia Goth. Incidentally, in real life she is the fiance of Shia Lebouef. Once the girl shows up we see a lot of attempts at communication, mostly by the old woman, but we find that sex barter is the only thing that really allows them close to him.

I kept thinking about how it could get to this after an apocalypse. I mean, if we know no one can really do anything for us, do we continue being charitable? Is the Survivalist charitable? He comes close but I can’t say he ever is truly. Is this what we must become in order to survive? Is survival worth losing trust for anyone? These are the sorts of questions that came up for me.

The film has an eerie feeling to it and a surprising twist at the end. The events that precede that twist are important to recall. I’m not si sure U know what the twist really means. I have a hunch it’s more than I am relaying to you now. I will most definitely see it a second time but if you have any ideas, do tell! This kept my wife and I’s attention the whole time and for that reason I recommend it. Because it had no emotion, I felt it was somewhat lacking. Furthermore, there could have been more foreshadowing about the twist at the end. That’s why I took a star from the score.

Published by Damien Riley

I post film reviews both written & audio. I'm a writer & podcaster, BA/MA English from Cal State Fullerton. Based in: Victorville, CA, USA My film review site is rileyonfilm.com

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