In recent years, that trend has returned in a way, in the form of the Teen Dystopia movie; you know, The Hunger Games, Insurgent, The Maze Runner, The Giver, and other movies of their ilk.
While the movies in the former group were all about testosterone-fueled violence and death, the movies of the latter group are more about teenagers (mostly girls) rising up to become heroes in a world gone mad, all while trying to navigate the equally treacherous waters of young romance. Yeah.
I'm simplifying thongs a bit here, but in essence, that's basically how it is with the "Life After Armageddon" movies of today; it's all feelings and self-worth. At least Mad Max: Fury Road came along this Summer and put the balls back into the Post-Apocalyptic Genre.
Which brings us to The Last Survivors (formerly titled The Well); a movie that falls into the Dystopia mold, but operates on the same engine that powered the Post-Apocalyptic action flicks of old. Except that it really plays like a solid Indie Drama more than anything else. An Indie Drama that's filled with blood, death, and cold-blooded revenge.
|WHY DON'T THEY JUST DRIVE OUT OF THE VALLEY?|
|"YOU ARE! YOU'RE THE HOTTEST CHICK IN THE VALLEY!"|
|THE APOCALYPSE LOOKS GOOD ON HER.|
Haley Lu Richardson acted, and emoted, her ass off in this one, and she brought more than a few emotional, and even poignant, scenes to the film. Aside from the dying Dean, she was really the only sympathetic character in this one, but surprisingly, they were more than enough to give the movie some much-welcomed emotional weight. She also wasn't afraid to blow people's faces off with a shotgun, or gut them like pigs with a Katana either, which added a nice gritty balance to things.
As PA flicks go, The Last Survivors succeeds where most fail, because of that balance. Oh, we enjoy The Hunger Games for what it is, but that's more of a big, overly-dramatic spectacle than it is anything else. There's nothing wrong with that. The Last Survivors though plays it far more bleak and desolate, which makes the characters feel far more isolated, and their circumstances much more dire. It's a quiet little movie, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't still pack plenty of bite.
|SHE'S REALLY FEELING THOSE FEELS.|
Watching a young girl kill a bunch of guys in different ways, especially when it invovled some magical Ninja-like movies & swordplay at times, was a bit hard to swallow too. I mean, we bought into it, but that tiny little girl, who gets nowhere near enough water and nutrition, is honestly able to fight off a group of well-armed, strong men? And with such ease? That idea stretched the fabric of belief a bit for us, at least at times.
We also don't find out much of what's going on in the world outside of the valley, which kind of makes us wonder about the ending. A little more info would have been nice.
|SHE LOOKS LIKE A YOUNG NIKKI REED.|
We also have to take a moment to talk about Nicole Arianna Fox, another hot actress whose humble beginnings inspired little faith in us, at least as far as sitting and watching her act goes. She may have gotten her start on one of the endless amount of mindless, brain-killing Reality TV shows that plagues the airwaves these days (America's Next Top Model, to be exact), but I'll be damned if she wasn't pretty good in this one. She may be as hot as sin, but she also managed to carry the role of evil bitch off rather well in this one, and she too may end up having herself a decent little career in front of the camera, going forward.
The rest of the cast were solid enough too -with the talented Jon Gries playing the heavy, and even Barbara Crampton and Foxface from The Hunger Games showing up to play small roles- but it was the girls that carried this one on their backs, and especially Haley Lu. How's that for Feminism, you Patriarchal bastards!
|THESE ASSHOLES RIGHT HERE...|
|AMERICA'S NEXT TOP SURVIVOR.|
If you like the idea of a Post-Apocalyptic flick that has an Indie Drama sensibility, then you should definitely add this one to your Must See list.
The Last Survivors is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.
Haley Lu Richardson and Nicole Arianna Fox are in this, and if the former has taught us anything, it's that every once in a while, something good can come out of something horrible like Reality TV. Something good and hot.