Directed by: #AndrewGale
Written by: #AdamHowes
The End of All Things is an atmospheric and gripping post-apocalypse indie movie that shines thanks to Andrew Gale’s assured directorial vision as well as the strength of its acting, cinematography and score.
It takes a while for this dystopian vision to come into focus: a middle-aged man (Adam Howes), a younger woman (Alina Chan) and a boy (Harry Davies) navigate a desolate rural wasteland; they camp amongst ruins, forage for food, breed mice, and gather wood for their fires. They have formed a clan and are focused intently on survival, but what is their exact relation, and what seismic event has so devastated this world? Gradually, some details emerge: the man and woman were once romantically attached, yet the older and wiser man is hesitant to bring life into such a ravaged world. However, the exact nature of this apocalypse is kept vague, and such minimal backstory works to the film’s strength. The End of All Things keeps us in the dark about such things, just as the boy and the woman are, until the boy discovers a strangely beautiful relic which also sparks a vision of a utopian future. The film mostly focuses on their efforts to make sense of the dark turn the world has taken, and their increasingly crazed attempts to make it right again.
What is notably impressive about this indie film is how uniformly proficient its creative vision is. In terms of acting, there are solid performances from its central trio. As the lone character to remember the world before, Adam Howes is suitably haunted and grizzled. His character has tunnel vision for the bare struggle of survival, while keeping a flame alive for finding future community. “There’ll be others, somewhere”, he tells the questioning boy. As the young woman and boy, Alina Chan and Harry Davies respectively give strong performances of wide-eyed naivety, with their hopeful innocence turning childishly frenzied as their need for belief in a higher order moves beyond rationality into fallacy.
The performances are supplemented by an impressive visual aesthetic: the film’s choice of locations is excellent, as are its set designs. This ravaged world feels authentically lived-in and believable. If you were impressed by Cormac McCarthy adaptation The Road with Viggo Mortensen, then you will be similarly won over by The End of All Things. The perished environment is captured by a refined yet gritty cinematography (also from Andrew Gale), which suitably paints in shades of grey and brown, while every shot is well-lit and suitably framed. On top of such technical skill, the film possesses an excellent score from composer Ant Dickinson, which enhances the emotional heft and suspense of different scenes. Thankfully, the film is not just style with no substance though, as the plot itself, while minimal, is engaging and takes some satisfyingly unexpected turns.
As director and cinematographer, Andrew Gale announces himself as a technically adept film-
maker to look out for with The End of All Things, a tragic and riveting tale about the fallibility of faith in the midst of devastation.