THE COLLAPSED (2011) Review


Directed by Justin McConnell
Written by Justin McConnell (screenplay) & Kevin Hutchinson (co-story)
Starring John Fantastia, Steve Vieria, Anna Ross, & Lise Moule
Official Site can be found here.

End of the world scenarios are a dime a dozen in film these days. Be it zombies or robots or plagues or alien invasions, it doesn’t matter. What matters in these films is the dissolution of society as we know it. The fragile framework of culture topples and man is reduced to beast. These films let us know that after all of the technology and evolution, the difference between civilized man and rampaging caveman are not so far as we would like to believe. THE COLLAPSED referred to in the title of this film is as much about the collapse of the modern family as it is about the collapse of society. It is also a film that is extremely effective in almost every way.

Though after the film’s credits rolled, I felt THE COLLAPSED viewed like an extended TWILIGHT ZONE episode, I was fully entranced throughout. The film follows one family as they make their way across a desolate countryside. They pass burned out buildings, abandoned cars, and the occasional dead body. Right away, we know society has fallen. How or why are questions not so easily answered and director / writer Justin McConnell takes his sweet time divulging any information. Instead, McConnell focuses on a single surviving family allowing us to get to know them intimately and get to like them. They are your typical nuclear family (mom, pop, sis, and bro) aside from the fact that they are packing heat, traveling light, and fleeing an unseen foe or foes, that is. I found myself caring quite a bit about this family and as shit starts hitting the fan, THE COLLAPSED turns out to be a pretty moving family drama, well acted, and meticulously paced for that maximum gut punch ending.

Though it isn’t particularly gory and at times, it feels like there’s more than enough false startles and amped up scenes of tension amounting to nothing in the long run, I have to recommend THE COLLAPSED for being a smart and stylistically end of the world thriller. Everything is not what you think with this film and with a convincing cast and a talented director / writer at the helm, THE COLLAPSED stands out above the herd of films of this type.

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