Following an event known as ‘The Crisis’, impressively bearded survivalist David (Tim Kaiser) hopes to sit out the apocalypse in his humble tent in the woods. Onto this scene stumbles fellow survivor Mary (Lulu Dahl), who finagles herself a place in the tent after David is injured. The relative safety of David’s quiet place comes under threat when this argumentative new presence brings Those Who Walk in Darkness – unseen monsters who may or may not have started it all – down upon their heads.
Kyle Couch’s single-location horror film may be overly influenced by recent cinema trends, but it’s more than a simple Bird Box or Quiet Place rip-off. Perhaps that’s by necessity; it can’t afford to be. On such a meagre budget, Couch keeps his monsters to the shadows, his characters hunkered down in David’s tent. The cinematography is simple and gloomy, but it works for the story being told. In spite of its name being in the title and everything, the actual tent doesn’t have much personality, but the film has a certain atmosphere regardless. Couch’s writing (of which there is a lot) is the real star of the show, papering over any cracks in the visuals and occasionally flat acting.
Those who go in expecting post-apocalyptic action or big scares will likely be disappointed by The Tent. Astonishing twist aside, this is more quiet character drama than anything else – a study of profound loneliness in two lost souls, reconnecting in a crappy tent in the woods. Like David’s tent, it’s shabby and unassuming, but gets the job done.