Film (2012). Instinctive Film/Preferred Content/Julijette Inc in coproduction with BR Group and Ink Connection. Directed by Xavier Gens. Written by Karl Muller and Eron Sheean. Cast includes Rosanna Arquette, Michael Biehn, Lauren German, Courtney B Vance and Milo Ventimiglia. 112 minutes. Colour.
After a nuclear strike on New York, nine survivors in a basement are besieged by sinister technologists from the surface, before progressively succumbing to the physical and psychological effects of the Disaster.
Shot in narrative sequence, this formidably unappealing psychodrama addresses the experience of nuclear Holocaust through the genre grammar of Horror cinema, lingering on the survivors' bloody descent into psychosis while deliberately withholding the comforts of explanation. Radiation-suited child-experimenters of indeterminate ethnicity deliver a couple of nasty set pieces and as mysteriously recede; and when at the end the film finally exits the basement, it is to a landscape of utter apocalyptic desolation under a Nuclear Winter sky. Like The Road (2009), the film takes a stand at the opposite pole from Cosy Catastrophe cinema, enthusiastically embracing the genre opportunities afforded by the conventions of horror for full-blooded performances, heartless moral deconstruction, and grand guignol confrontation with the unlovelier effects of radiation sickness, Survivalist living, and World War Three. [NL]
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