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05 Jun 2017

Home Video Review: 'The Survivalist' Is a Dark but Compelling Smack-Down of the Human Race

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Mia Goth and Olwen Fouere in The Survivalist. Mia Goth and Olwen Fouere in The Survivalist.

In The Survivalist, Martin McCann plays a character—simply listed as Survivalist in the credits—who is living on a small piece of land in a post-apocalyptic world where food has grown scarce. It’s a lonely existence, but he has a crop to get by, and it’s all for him.

That is, until a mysterious woman (Olwen Fouere) and her daughter (Mia Goth) show up looking to barter for food. He refuses their offer of pumpkin seeds, but the Survivalist accepts the offer of sleeping with the daughter … and then things get a little complicated.

Writer-director Stephen Fingleton has made a film that is relentlessly dark, and has almost nothing good to say about human beings. (Hey, the human race needs a good smack-down sometimes … am I right?)

McCann is highly memorable as a nervous man who yearns for companionship yet trusts no one. Fouere provides the right amount of nastiness as somebody who has been hardened by the apocalypse. Goth plays the film’s most sympathetic character, yet even she is a schemer with nefarious intentions. The darkness plays out until the bitter end.

This is a film that aims to bum you out—and succeeds. I say this as a compliment.

The Survivalist is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.

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