From all outward appearances, this shouldn’t be on a post-apocalypse website. The movie follows a group of young men and women as they search for their lost professor who went missing while exploring a cave.
Central to the theme is the fact that the Archeology Professor (Andrew Wilson) has made it his mission in life to find a local couple who went missing. This couple was searching for the Fountain of Youth when they disappeared.
He locates their old their van overgrown by vegetation next to a mysterious cave.
Inside the mouth of the cave, he sees a man carrying a revolver frozen motionless like a prehistoric fly in amber. Not to be deterred he decides eventually to enter into the cave.
After no one hears from the professor for a few days, two of his students Taylor (Reiley McClendon) and Jackie (Brianne Howey) decide to go searching for him. They ask for the help of their friend Cara(Cassidy Gifford) to drive them to where he was last known to be exploring.
The trio is forced to take a younger sibling Veeves (Olivia Drguicevich) and her innocent yet slightly obnoxious neighborhood friend Furby (Max Wright) along with them.
When they find the Professor’s vehicle, they decide to make their way into the cave. Furby stays behind outside in case things go wrong.
Inside they begin to experience strange phenomena. Their lifeline to the outside becomes cut, and communication with Furby becomes impossible. They are forced to go deeper inside to find a way out.
Things take a significant turn for the worse as they find a boy who has fallen into a shaft from outside. They slowly begin to realize that they are trapped in a loop inside the space-time continuum.
Time passes much faster inside the cave than it does outside. Just how much quicker is up for debate. It appears to quicken the deeper in the cave they travel.
Savage men living inside the cave find them and the explorers are forced to fight or flight. What follows is probably one of the wildest and most original sets of events that I have seen in a very long time.
Why is this here? Well, not to spoil too much but there is an apocalypse, you don’t get to see it, but you do get to see the results.
The movie punches above its weight. The film doesn’t rely heavily on special effects, but those that are there are, in a word, amazing. Hardly the hokey effects of most Indie Films, these are used sparingly and to great effect for both shock and awe.
One of the pivotal reveals comes at a time that is both well placed and jaw-dropping.
Acting is of an acceptable level, and the chemistry between all actors is excellent. Suspension of belief never breaks.
Character development is good. You care about what happens to these characters and like them. When something happens to Furby, I was saddened by it.
What is indeed the star of the show here is the storytelling. The story itself is excellent. I remarked to a friend that I had watched people in a cave for almost an hour and thirty minutes, and it held my attention.
Which is impressive if you think about it. How can someone watch people in a cave for that long and not get bored?
The pacing is good. The movie moves along at a nice pace, so there is not a moment when you are bored waiting for some plot device or development to emerge.
As far as Indie films go, this is definitely one of the better ones. If you are tired of zombies, raiders, cannibals and the rest of post apoc tropes, then this is a film to watch.
It is interesting, holds your attention and gives an entirely different premise to post-apoc while never really being too much of a post-apocalypse sci-fi movie.
There is some controversy as to whether or not there are aliens in the film. I personally think that this is a misidentification. I don’t believe that there are aliens in the movie, but rather something else entirely.
Some others state that not everything entirely adds up and that there are some logical mistakes. I say that there is no reason to over analyze the film and merely to take it at face value.
It is much more enjoyable, and there is no need to write an overly critical scientific thesis on the nature of space and time.
If you have an hour and a half to spare and want to watch an exciting and entertaining movie, this would be a good choice.
It has won numerous awards including Hollywood Film Festival Most Innovative Narrative Feature,2018 Hill Country Film Festival Audience Award Winner, 2018 El Paso Film Festival Producer Award.
I’m giving this five stars.
Director: Ben Foster, Mark Dennis
Cast: Reiley McClendon, Brianne, Howey, Cassidy Gifford, Olivia Draguicevich, Max Wright, Andrew Wilson
Screenplay: Mark Dennis
Cinematography: Mike Simpson
Music: Xiaotian Shi
U.S. Distributor: Giant Interactive
Run Time: 1:30
U.S. Release Date: 2018-11-02
MPAA Rating: “NR” (Violence, Profanity)
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