The Survivalist (2015)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

The Survivalist (2015) Poster

In a time of starvation, a survivalist lives off a small plot of land hidden deep in forest. When two women seeking food and shelter discover his farm, he finds his existence threatened.

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  • Mia Goth in The Survivalist (2015)
  • Martin McCann in The Survivalist (2015)
  • Olwen Fouéré in The Survivalist (2015)
  • Olwen Fouéré and Mia Goth in The Survivalist (2015)
  • Martin McCann in The Survivalist (2015)
  • The Survivalist (2015)

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30 December 2016 | Theo Robertson
| If You Don't Like Post Apocalyptic Fiction You Won't Like This
This gritty low budget thriller came and went with very little fanfare . It was only through a favoured genre film website that I knew of its existence and made a point of tracking it down because the premise intrigued me . With hindsight I can understand the reason for its obscurity since it is something of a bugger to market . Social Darwinism in action where only the most ruthless have any chance of survival . Add to this a slow , low key pace with little dialogue with no musical soundtrack and you realise it's not something that's going to sell out the multiplex . That said the Brits probably do this type of sub-genre better than anyone else and it's a type of premise that makes this audience member appreciate what a wonderful and fragile thing civilisation is . Any story that makes the audience think can only be a good thing can't it ?

That said I wasn't entirely convinced by the cause of the apocalypse . Oil production ceases meaning the end of the world ? Not entirely sure if that's credible . In the real world the oil price has collapsed in the last few years and countries whose economies are dependent on it has slumped . Also some of these countries such as Iraq and Syria have been ravaged by ongoing civil wars yet these nation states will survive the present hellish conditions and prosper - hopefully with truly pluralist democratic governments - in the future . There's also the aspect common in the medium that despite having the opening scene set several years after the disaster it's only when the story starts that pivotal incident seems to magically happen

Writer/director Stephen Fingleton isn't too bothered about the cause and concentrates more on the effects of this disaster . More specifically he concentrates on character dynamics of a mother and daughter trying to find sanctuary in the refuge of a man who knows what it takes to survive and survival comes at a heavy and harsh price . One noticeable thing Fingleton acknowledges in this post apocalyptic world is that concepts like menstruation and unwanted pregnancy still exist , which is not something that's usually touched upon in these type of stories . Fingleton doesn't have to do much to create a bleak , desolate and if you've seen the director's short film SLR from a few years ago you'll notice has a talent for creating a gloomy atmosphere out of everyday landscapes

It's not a perfect film and I constantly found myself wondering why it only seems to be the three lead protagonists/antagonists who are seemingly capable of speech . If I remember correctly there are only five speaking parts in the entire movie . Some people will also find the dark subject matter just a little bit too disturbing and depressing to make it to the end of the movie . Despite this divisive tone if you appreaciate the end of the world type movies that doesn't involve armies of CGI zombies you'll find a lot to respect here

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