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Director: Stephen Fingleton
Writer: Stephen Fingleton
Stars: Mia Goth, Martin McCann, Andrew Simpson
The Survivalist tells the story of nameless man (Martin McCann) who has forged a life for himself in the woods, living in a modest cabin and growing his own food during a time of starvation in a dystopian alternate present. One day, a starving mother (Olwen Fouéré) and daughter (Mia Goth) come across his cabin and ask if they can have some food and stay the night. Can he trust them? And, more importantly, should he?
This film takes an unrelenting look into relationships and what it really means to trust someone. It really focuses on the characters and their motivations; the uncertainties of life after the end of the world as we know it; what brings people together and what draws them apart; doing what’s right versus making sure you survive. It doesn’t shy away from tough decisions and it doesn’t make anything easy for us as the audience.
Although this movie is definitely worth the watch and it will have you thinking long afterwards, be forewarned that it does have its slow moments. There is so much emphasis on character development that action takes a backseat. There are some extremely tense moments and an underlying distrust and uneasiness throughout but the day to day is more about maintaining the crops and making sure they have enough to sustain themselves than it is about thrills and fast paced action sequences. The character emphasis means that the casting in this movie is truly top notch. McCann has the intensity of a young Michael Fassbender and Fouéré kept me riveted throughout. There are some really uncomfortable moments in this movie and all the actors handle them perfectly.
Writer-director Stephen Fingleton has really brought something to the table here with his debut film. He does an incredible job of depicting the bleakness of the world that these characters are living in. He really tries to get to the core of what it means to survive and what lengths people will go to when it’s kill or be killed. Fingleton shows us that something truly chilling and thought provoking can be created on a next-to-nothing budget
All in all, this movie has some real talent, it’s beautifully crafted and it’s brutally honest about what people would inevitably become in a dystopian world. It’s something that will stay with you long after the end credits; making you wonder what you would do in similar circumstances and whether or not you can ever really trust anyone. Give it a watch tonight.