Reviews | Written by John Higgins 09/08/2018

WHAT STILL REMAINS

Getting a VOD release in August 2018, Josh Mendoza's post-apocalyptic drama What Still Remains taps into the same dystopian elements that helped to heighten the likes of The Hunger Games franchise and The Road.

Anna (Lula Antariksa) is trying to cope with the recent loss of both her mother and her brother in the aftermath of a worldwide plague, and still takes pride in the homestead that her family has created. Twenty five years on from the terrible events that brought the world seemingly to its knees, there are rumours of undesirable elements in the world who have been transformed into scarred and mysterious beings called “Berserkers”.

One day, a stranger by the name of Peter (Colin O'Donoghue) arrives at Anna's place and strikes up a bond with her, talking of a nearby village community where sanctuary and hope can be offered.. The journey through the local woodland brings human hazards, but eventually they reach the fenced and secluded community, led by Judith (Mimi Rogers, from Ridley Scott's 1987 thriller Someone To Watch Over Me). Before long, the community reveals themselves to be a highly religious group, offering Anna some hope and solace,as well as a way forward amidst all the desperation. However, one of the captured Berserkers has got a different plan in mind for the woodland-wise Anna.

What Still Remains retains the classic template of a future-gone-bad storyline in the tradition of the George Miller Mad Max films, The Road Warrior and Fury Road, and there is also a touch of The Outlaw Josey Wales in this as a story of someone who has lost key family members and has to evolve and grow within a new group of people in order to survive. Compared to The Road, which at times was perhaps a little too downbeat and depressing, What Still Remains has more energy and activity, and is more enjoyable for that across its hour and a half running time. As with the best futuristic sci-fi films, there are layers of subtext and character revelation that allow the audience to absorb the intention and vision of the director, coupled with some brilliant cinematography from Matthew Edwards, which is in turns both atmospheric and beautifully haunting.

Although aimed at a VOD release, this is a movie that demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Hopefully some rep screenings and festival opportunities will beckon, but most importantly it is a great showcase for both the acting and technical teams.

WHAT STILL REMAINS / DIRECTOR: JOSH MENDOZA / SCREENPLAY: JOSH MENDOZA / STARRING: LULU ANTARIKSA, COLIN O'DONOGHUE, MIMI ROGERS / CERDT: TBC / RELEASE DATE: 14T AUGUST 2018 (VOD)

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