June 2, 2012

Filthy Review - The Collapsed

The Collapsed (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

About a year ago I watched and reviewed a screener copy of The Collapsed, which you can read elsewhere on the site, and I was thoroughly impressed. The story concerns a family on the run to the country to look for their other son after the apparent end of the world. Along the way they have to avoid gunmen, other survivors and an unseen force that seems to be following them.

Since first watching the film I have been following its progress, hoping to see it get an official release in some capacity. Well, that time has arrived with Anchor Bay releasing the movie in the States, and I was eager to check the film out again.

The Collapsed is one of those movies that, for me anyway, actually improved on subsequent viewings. The film has a very deliberate, some might say slow, pace to it. The events unfold slowly, allowing the tension and atmosphere to heighten, whilst also allowing the viewer time to get to know the family. It is certainly a more traditional, or old school, approach to filmmaking. You aren’t going to get rapid fire edits whose sole purpose is to trigger seizures in the viewer. Although the approach may well be old school, the actual visuals of the film are very much in the now, with The Collapsed having a wonderfully crisp picture, thanks to the RED camera on which it was shot.

Despite the film’s low budget it is quite apparent that a lot of time and effort went into ensuring the look of the film, and everything within, would defy the budget’s limitations, and on this front I believe that director Justin McConnell definitely succeeded.

The film is one in which it does reward the viewer that pays close attention to what is going on, as clues are revealed throughout if you look for them. Whereas, the casual viewer might be put off by the fact that there are quite a few questions asked, with some of the answers being open to interpretation and not necessarily cut and dry.

The Collapsed isn’t without its problems, but I thought they were minor. There is the odd corny moment that for me felt a little out of place in terms of the film’s tone. Like I said though, it’s a minor problem and the rest of the film was most enjoyable. I should also make mention of Rob Kleiner’s excellent score, which is also included on this release. It is one of those scores that works well on its own; I’ve had it on quite a few times, but also serves to enhance the onscreen action. It really is quite superb.

On to the extras then, and there are some good ones here. There are two audio commentaries, one from lead actor John Fantasia and a second from director McConnell and Co-producer Kevin Hutchinson. I didn’t have time to watch the commentary with Fantasia, but I did watch the other one and found it to have a good blend of humor and information, and happy endings… There were no noticeable pauses in the dialogue and the whole thing seemed very relaxed.
Also included on the disc is a music video from Rob Kleiner, a photo gallery, cast and crew bios, Easter Egg and a selection of The Collapsed trailers.

Not on the disc itself, but well worth your time downloading from the links included, are the aforementioned score from Rob Kleiner, the original screenplay and the 71 minute ‘Making of’ documentary entitled Apocalypse on a Budget. I personally would have like to have seen this included on the disc itself, but regardless of that it is well worth watching. There are a couple of repetitions from the McConnell/Hutchinson commentary, but it is still most informative and enjoyable viewing.

The Collapsed is a very good film, even with its flaws, and is one that I really enjoy. It has been given a pretty good release as well by Anchor Bay, although I would also have liked to have seen a Blu-ray release as I can only see that further enhancing the already impressive visuals and cracking score. Hopefully this will happen further down the line, until then though this really is a top-notch release.

The Collapsed is released on DVD on June 5th by Anchor Bay.

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