Starring: Olivia Grant, Chike Okonkwo, Ed Stoppard, Warren Brown, John Hannah
Director: Freddie Hutton-Mills, Bart Ruspoli
In a dystopian future, a red mist that corrodes everything in it’s path, a result of a chemical weapon, leaves man to live underground to survive. The survivor’s want to believe that they are not the last bunker that is inhabited, but the enclave is owned and led by a corporation that doesn’t want to fund exploration to find out for sure. There is a class divide between the haves and have-nots, and it seems an overthrow of power is in the offing. But while this goes on, a scientist is working on a machine that can brave the outside world and not corrode in the mist. It could be their salvation, but it might also be the end of life as we know it.
For a film that is direct to video, this movie has some good, smaller budget special effects, sets and costumes, and it also has a small host of recognisable faces. But it does suffer from a few things that a lot of smaller budget sci fi films and TV shows suffer from: lack of coherence, under developed characters, cheesey dialogue. That means that while this film may appeal to and satisfy the sci fi fans, it may put off some other viewers.
Personally, it bothered me that the mist killed, but you could survive for a short time by hiding in a car with no windows. We know it comes from a chemical weapon, but what is it exactly? It also bothered me that the president of the bunker was American, but no one else is. Why is he there? And also that one man has been set up as the leader of the civilians, but we don’t know why and if we should root for him. There are some plot holes in this film that should have been explored and sometimes the film seems to leave out some small bits on establishing information, so we find a character in a room or a place, but aren’t sure why. Things like this, as well as lack of character development, leave me a bit restless and un-engaged as a movie watcher.
But I happen to know a lot of science fiction lovers who don’t mind this kind of thing, who enjoy the world creation and the look and feel of science fiction, and take that as their entry point. They enjoy the ride for what it is. Where I cringe at the cheesey speech making, they smile and enjoy it. And there’s something really nice about that.
I think my feeling is that if you’re a sci fi fan, then this smaller budget film might be for you. It has shades of Snowpiercer, and the sets and costumes are really good. It doesn’t rely on special effects to tell it’s story but it does use it’s effects budget well. It does have flaws, but I think if you know to expect them and you think that the story sounds interesting, and you’re looking for some sci-fi to watch, then you might take a look at this film.
See It If: you’re a science fiction fan, it’s lack of character development, cheesey speeches and incoherence may mean it’s not for everyone.