It finally happened. The world was coming to an end and chaos reigned in both the city and the countryside. Everyday citizens were thrust into survival mode and harvesting weapons and initiating your survival instincts are the only way to survive. This bleak anarchic realization is the setting for the new film The Collapsed, written and directed by Justin McConnell.
The Collapsed follows a family of four through the end-of-the-world type ordeal as they struggle to survive against the ever increasing violent presence of outsiders. The Weaver’s are lead by father Scott (John Fantasia) and mother Emily (Lise Moule) who provide the emotional servitude and adult determination to survive. Their two children, Aaron (Steve Vieira) and Rebecca (Anna Moss) lack survival instinct but follow their parents in tow as they set out to travel to Dover’s Bend – a countryside area familiar to the family. Their journey will lead them through a forested landscape ripe with dangers and possible peril behind every tree. It will also deplete their numbers as unfriendly encounters have dire consequences. The final reel will contain heightened scenes of violence and frustrated desperation as Scott disregards his personal safety and survival for the pursuit of revenge for actions taken against his family.
Director Justin McConnell shows an acute directing style while bucking the conventional trend of establishing the source of the evil in an early chapter. In fact, it is not until past the one hour running time of the 82-minute movie that the audience is finally let in on the reveal. For the opening 60-minutes, our minds ran in directions of possible insanity or even a supernatural element as plot hits such as discussions of the ‘infected’ and ‘that thing out there’ further skewed our personal rationalization of events.
Taunt and engaging, The Collapsed proved to be a better than average small budget film that wrings the determined and believable performance from John Fantasia. The film hinges on Fantasia’s stoic performance and he delivers with an oozing authenticness that drives the film. The supporting characters have little outside of further driving Scott’s improbable mission but are valuable plot points in the Weaver odyssey.
The Collapsed does have flaws – in particular an out-of-place conversation between Scott and Aaron that should have taken its own advice of the scripts presentation of a “this is not the time for this” - but it hardly brought the developing story to a standstill and is easily buried in the fresh plotline.
The Collapsed has played on the festival circuit and was screened at the Fangoria Film Festival earlier this year garnishing positive reviews. It’s easy to see why. The Collapsed was a suspenseful treat which takes its audience through a familiar road story adding its own unique touches on the way to a bloody conclusion. Well done.