The Survivalist (2015)

Stephen Fingleton directs Mia Goth, Martin McCann and Olwen Fouéré in this low budget, post-apocalyptic thriller where a lone farmer begrudgingly lets a pair of women into his fiercely guarded allotment.

Mad Max in a potting shed! Like The Rover or Children of Men this imagines a future of desperation and scarcity that might not have biker chases and chainsaw fights but is equally as terrifying in it stark practicalities. The wooden cabin is a rickety defence, only really effective as rampart in its undetectable smallness. There are moments when it is besieged by crossbow wielding Parker hoodies but the real threat is the mistrust and hunger of our central three. Human contact gives way to supplies dwindling, allegiances shifting and vulnerabilities exposed. Our lone shotgun wielding hermit might crave Mia Goth’s sexy malnourished body, but she sees his strength and guile as a shield from the rapists and marauders. Her “mother” trades her daughter’s youth and looks for shelter and supplies but harbours her own deadly plans. The economy of this ravaged community is blunt, brutal and uncaring. Any glimmer of humanity shown is a kill point exposed, even a corpse has utilitarian benefits. The film has a lush wet greenness, overgrown scrubland and rain soaked forest clearings. It makes for a unique setting, one fully exploited. Grim yet gripping, small yet special, The Survivalist is quite the treat.


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