08th Nov2015

‘Survivors’ Review

by Mondo Squallido

Stars: Joanne Gale, David Anderson, Adrian Annis, Simon Burbage, Ali Currey, David Anthony Green, Alan Harman, Rich Keeble | Written by Adam Spinks, Laurence Timms | Directed by Adam Spinks


“Infection Is Coming…”

Here in the UK, when it comes to zombie and infection films, we are mostly treated to comedic entries such as Shaun of the Dead, Doghouse and Cockneys vs Zombies. Don’t get me wrong, the films mentioned have their own merits, but am I the only one who is sick of films of the like going in that direction? Of course, films like 28 Days Later and Doomsday brought something new to the table and replaced cheap gags with genuine tension and atmosphere. It’s been a long time since I have seen a great example of the genre like that here in good old, bloody Blighty. When I first caught wind of the latest offering of its kind from Adam Spinks (Extinction) in the form of Survivors, I was very intrigued. Can this low budget infection film live up to the likes of 28 Days Later?

The film follows Kate (Joanne Gale, WebKam), a young amateur journalist and her cameraman friend Duke (Simon Burbage, Zombie Resurrection) who are investigating the recent activity of a large corporation contracted by the government. The pair discover that the corporation are testing a biological weapon on human subjects. Unfortunately, a few of the subjects escape and wouldn’t you know it? There’s an outbreak! With the military unable to control the chaos, it becomes a fight for survival. In the commotion, Duke and Kate are separated. With the help of fellow wonderer Paul (David Anderson, Breathe), Kate begins a quest to find her missing cameraman. Naturally, it’s not going to be easy and along the way; some horrific truths will be revealed.

Survivors is an intriguing film to say the least, utilising both found footage and ‘conventional’ filmmaking to tell the story. The found footage elements are used as both flashback and setting the scene. As the film goes on, we find out more about the events and the actual outbreak thanks to the found footage aspect. Personally, I enjoy found footage films and I think that side of the film works brilliantly alongside the rest of the film. Sometimes, it can be really clumsy when a filmmaker opts to mix the two styles, but here it is done brilliantly. It may not be the most original story, but Spinks and fellow writer Laurence Timms (Persona) have crafted a very solid film that is full of tension, somewhat believable and opts for less gore and violence than most would. Gore-hounds may be a bit disappointed. Instead of countless gore gags and excuses for violence, we are treated to actual character development and tension by the bucketload. There is a sense of dread throughout and although not a social statement like Dawn of the Dead or The Walking Dead, there are moments that show you that in situations such as a mass outbreak, those not infected can be just as dangerous as those who are.

Considering that this production had a budget of around £10,000 (according to IMDb at least), it is a genuinely cinematic experience that shows you that no matter what the budgetary constraints, you can create both a visually stunning and genuinely atmospheric film. It isn’t a perfect film by any means, but you do genuinely feel like it is the end of the world. All in all, if you want an infection film that is subtle, yet still manages to pack an atmosphere; this is a fine example of the genre. It may not be bloody, gory or in your face with action, but Survivors is a refreshing take on a genre that we have become tired of. It’s nice to see filmmakers (and everyone else involved in the production) like Spinks keeping the genre alive and fresh here in the UK. I can safely that this has been one of the most enjoyable and impactful infection films since 28 Days Later.

Survivors is available on DVD and VOD from Initiative Motion Pictures.


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