Directed: by Christopher Carson Emmons Starring: Nick Kordysh, Sam Koze, Alida Lacosse, Valerie Lightheart and Matthew Nichols Short Film Review by: Rachel Pullen
The Road, I Am Legend, Mad Max...Mad Max 2, the list of apocalyptic films is endless and for good reason, they provide a sense of creativity, scenarios, places and the rules of the land can be manipulated and developed to suit the needs of the storyline, without being as far fetched as certain sci fi plots.
And so welcome to the stage Christopher Carson Emmons’s short film The Survivor, the tale of a post apocalyptic world where oxygen and water are in short supply [so going to the gym is out] where a young boy must travel across the land in order to barter for some medical supplies for his sick mother.
Nick Kordysh who plays our young leading man seems to be a mute, either that or he just is not really into chit chat, and once sent out into the wasteland that is their home, must dodge a collection of threats that lay in his path, from the cops to a group of religious extremists, run by a man who has made a stylish ‘’Miss World’’ style sash out of crumpled dollar bills.
Kordysh portrays his sense of determination with his body language, but you also feel his nerves and confliction in certain scenes, for a role with no dialogue we are still invested in his journey, speaking volumes to the performance of this young actor.
Carson Emmons has had a good stab at creating a believable world for his audience and characters to be invested in but it is just that ...a good stab.
The challenge of creating an atmosphere is one thing, but with the sci fi genre, the director must build a world that is not only believable, but is engaging, compelling and importantly consistent.
The Survivor’s first problem for the audience is going to be the lack of consistency, we are given no real reason as to why the world and its oxygen has become toxic, and so it’s no surprise when our leading character only leaves the house with a gas mask on [no reason, no cure right? ], yet when he runs into several other characters they are not wearing them and seem to be breathing confidently. As well as that the police choose to and also choose not to wear masks also, like it’s a fashion statement that they have just grown tired of half way through the scene.
Secondly so many things are left unanswered, but that may not be a negative, perhaps this is a build up to a longer piece, like a preface to a full length feature, and if that’s the case then I can imagine it to be an interesting watch as this short has a well driven and strong storyline to keep viewers wanting more.
The Survivor has much to offer the sci fi community but let’s face facts it needs some development, this aside the imagination that has gone into the landscape and its residents is not without its charm and substance, but you will always be wondering, do you need a gas mask or not?