The Collapsed (2011) (Screener)
Review by Jude Felton
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine, someone once sang. If only that was really the case. We all know that when civilization comes crashing down around our feet we won’t feel fine, because let’s face it chances are it’s not going to be a pleasant experience. In director Justin McConnell’s The Collapsed the world, or maybe just Canada, has seemingly come to a grinding halt, the majority of the population has been wiped out and few that remain either live in a constant state of fear, or are themselves the cause of the fear.
Scott Weaver (John Fantasia), his wife Emily and two teenage children Aaron and Rebecca are four survivors of the catastrophe that has befallen the world. They live a perilous existence in the city where danger could befall them at any time. Their plan is to make it to the country where they hope the threat of violence is not so prevalent. Getting there though is a mission in itself with the threat of attack a very real worry. It soon becomes apparent though that it is not just other humans they have to fear but something far more mysterious.
While the storyline may seem to have a familiar feel to it, it is in the execution where The Collapsed differs from similar movies. McConnell has crafted a very deliberate and methodical movie. This isn’t filmmaking for the attention challenged viewer, as whilst there are a few action set-pieces the movie very much focuses on Scott and his family and their reaction to what is going on around them. Scenes linger rather than flash onto the screen and everything is accompanied by a quite terrific score which compliments events rather than intrude on them.
This isn’t a special effects laden movie, there are a few shots of destruction in the city which I can only guess as being some surprisingly effective CGI and scenes involving gunplay and violence are bloody but never gory.
Where The Collapsed may split audiences is in the fact that the film asks more questions than it gives answers to, which in turn leaves a lot resting on the viewer’s imagination. If you are looking for a movie that spends the last ten minutes or so explaining absolutely everything to you I am afraid you will leave a little upset. If however you prefer a movie that doesn’t spoon feed you then I think you will get far more out of it.
Visually impressive with a solid cast carrying the story from start to finish, The Collapsed was an impressive slice of cinema. It was engaging, tense and in at least one scene managed to shock me in the direction that the plot took.
The Collapsed is definitely a film for the patient viewer and for my money another score for good solid independent filmmaking.