A father and son living off the grid in a post-apocalyptic/post-wart situation soon find more and more outsiders coming closer and closer to their home. As decided by the father, they dispatch them one by one, until one day, the son sees a woman and cannot bring himself to follow his father’s others. After his father is wounded and he needs to find medicine, he finds her and meets her, leading to questioning everything he thought he knew.
Written by Josh Janowicz and directed by Drew Mylrea, Last Survivor is the second feature film for both of them and they manage to create a serviceable post-apocalypse film with a twist. Folx who have watched a lot of the genre will most likely see the twist coming from a mile, but the film remains a decent watch even after guessing where things are going. Things here aren’t particularly exciting, but they aren’t boring either, so it makes for a sort of status quo film where the viewer knows mostly what they are getting into and are willing to give the film 1h48min of their time. There is a good study of the human psyche in this but it’s not particularly deep. It’s there, there are some scenes that definitely are worthy of delving deeper into, and the fact that the cast is so strong really helps sell that angle of the film. While this is interesting, the way some of those elements of psychology are developed create a sort of disconnect with the ending. While the film is competently written and directed and it’s decently entertaining, it all feels rather déjà vu, even with the twist that comes into play.
What really brings the viewer in and keeps them invested is the cast. Playing the father is Stephen Moyer who does a great weary/paranoid middle-aged man, Drew Van Acker who does well as the intelligent and bright son who had bits of his education missing so he’s a bit innocent, and Alicia Silverstone as Henrietta, the woman who makes everything change for the son. They take up the bulk of the run time and really shine here. Silverstone turns in a performance that will make her fans quite happy they tuned in.
The film here looks amazing, the way the images are frames, lit, and brought to the viewer by cinematographer Julián Estrada is something that could elevate any material. There is a melancholy in the images, something more than just survival. The images give the characters and their emotions the right place to shine, but they also help give thew film another layer. The forest, the desolate locations, how interiors are shot, it all brings forth the right amount of emotions and exposition.
Last Survivors is a survival film that bases a lot of its story around feelings and emotions, it allows the cast to shine with characters they can make their own and in images that are well-made. The film itself doesn’t break any new barriers in the genre and it will not be for everyone, but it’s a take on survival and why people do the things they do that is fairly easy to watch and digest.