Friday, December 27, 2013

DVD Review: CHILDREN OF A DARKER DAWN (2013)

CHILDREN OF A DARKER DAWN (2013)
Label: Pop Twist
Region Code: Region FREE
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 106 Minute
Video: 16:9 Widescreen
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Director: Jason Figgis
Cast:  Emily Forster, Catherine Wrigglesworth, Justine Rodgers

A pandemic virus is decimating the adult population of the world, the afflicted grown-ups are losing they're minds and slipping into a weird state of dementia before death. Nine months later teenagers and children are the only survivors of the new plague. This is director Jason Figgis' apocalyptic version of the classic Lord of the Flies story, set in the melancholic city of Dublin, Ireland. Our main characters are sisters Evie (Catherine Wrigglesworth) and Fran (Emily Forster) move from house to house preferring to keep to themselves while scavenging for food and shelter, steering clear of other groups of juveniles in the area. When we finally meet-up with others we can see why - it's pretty grim and desperate out there and the neighbors aren't always a friendly bunch.

As a doomsday movie the scale quite small, there are very few establishing shots setting-up a larger world view, we're tightly focused on a small group of survivors and the teenage drama that's unfolds, only in this post-apocalyptic reality petty jealousies and rivalries can easily turn deadly.

The young cast are excellent, for a micro-budget film a poor cast can be the death knell but there are no such issues here, very strong performances. Through flashback we see the disintegration of the parents who at first exhibit flu like symptoms and then signs of dementia, some of these scenes are quite affecting as the children grasp to hold onto their mothers and fathers as they slip away into insanity, it can powerful stuff.

A few concerns you might wanna be aware of before plunging into this one sight unseen. Due to the micro-budget origins the scope of the film is very small - we just don't get a lot of world building on display. It's a bit of a slow burn and and the sudden finale left me cold. While it lacks a visceral punch it does have some multi-layered performances from a promising young cast, preferring to skip the usual gore and ultra-violence for a genuine sense of dread and tension, but at the end of the day this is a apocalypse-drama that for me doesn't have a lot of rewatch value. 2 Outta 5


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