An intense, fear-driven thriller
The Survivalist does many things; put the fear of God into you, keeps you tense the whole two hours and surprises you with its ending. It doesn’t however explain itself, which is absolutely fine but won’t give you any closure if you like to know all the little details!
Set mostly in an unidentified woodland, a nameless man (the amazing Martin McCann) lives alone. He is scared and prepared for invasion, living off a small self-started farm. That is until a starving woman (Olwen Fouere) and her teenage daughter (Mia Goth) turn up looking for food and shelter. The woman offers her daughter’s body sexually in return, and the man gives in, starved of human contact for seven years.
The Survivalist is seemingly set in some sort of post apocalyptic future Ireland (the two women are from Monaghan we’re told), but we never find out how or why any of this happened. Instead we are shown present day, as the three tensely circle each other to survive and meet their basic human needs, and minor flashbacks of the man’s brother who has since died.
Filmed in Northern Ireland, the movie was written and directed by Northern Ireland-born Stephen Fingleton, who has picked up a number of accolades for his work on the film, including; Best Debut Director at the British Independent Film Awards, Best New Narrative Director and Special Jury Mention at Tribeca, and most recently, a nomination in the Outstanding Debut category of the British Academy Film Awards. This thriller is captivating, unsettling and absolutely one to watch for all fans of the genre.
Released : February 12th