Saw this at the Leiden film festival 2014 (LIFF), where it was selected
for the American Indie Competition. Given is a post-apocalypse
situation, after all water disappeared from a large area. Some farm
houses are still more or less intact, with a few sparse inhabitants who
try to survive with limited resources and nearly defective equipment.
Our main character is 17 year old Kendal, involuntary head of a
household that consists of herself and her handicapped brother with
ailing kidneys. At the other end of the spectrum we have a greedy water
baron, who claims all of the (little) still available water, collects
it underground in water tanks, and is supported by a small army that
doesn't shy away from lethal violence. As a result, he makes it more
and more difficult for everyone in the area to pump up the water they
need for their survival.
Our main character Kendal has lots of luck, she is resourceful and
armed with plenty of determination. As the story progresses she remains
standing, contrary to many others with ill intentions. Kendal even has
her way with a sword. Moreover, along the line of sheer luck, her
brother with the ailing kidneys who can only walk with crutches,
succeeds in shooting three men in a row, in spite of the latter being
armed and normally impose their will by means of those armory. It shows
desperation all right, but it stretches our belief that this can happen
Beautiful shots of a desolate area, leaving us wondering how this
situation came about. I'm not sure, contrary to another reviewer,
whether it would have improved our viewer experience if we had known
more about the background of brother and sister, and similarly about
the reason of the water shortage. The background is hidden along the
story, and is revealed sufficiently for us to understand a bit of the
context. The message we take away is that there is no hope for the
Another irrational element in the plot is Kendal's desperate chase for
a distributor cap of the correct type, that fits a plane in a hangar
seemingly belonging to no one. She goes at every length in finding the
distributor cap, checking every car or van within reach, in order to
get the plane in the air. She hopefully assumes that the rest of the
plane is in perfect order (it does not look that way from our
viewpoint). This chase for missing motor parts is a constant theme
throughout the running time.
The label Horror is not correct by my standards, due to missing
creepiness throughout. Yet it has all the elements of a slasher movie,
that maybe being the reason for the Horror label, coming from the
continuous killing that seems necessary in the survival of the fittest
process as demonstrated here.
None of the flaws summed up above keep us from intensely following what
happens on screen, and feeling along with Kendal and her brother. They
seem the only ones standing up against the greedy water baron, in short
a perfect candidate for a young female heroine to sympathize with. Due
to their lone position we cannot expect them to survive until a final
solution is reached, nor do we see a viable strategy to leave the area.
Yet, they come a long way, much farther than we could have assumed. For
spoilers sake, I cannot tell more about how this story works out
eventually, but anyway it is different from what I had expected.
All in all, depressing landscapes, mixed with little hope for some form
of escape from the harsh reality due to defective equipment and limited
resources all around. From the "post apocalypse" situation that is the
center of the action, we cannot expect an "enjoyable" experience.
Nevertheless, the believable acting, the camera work in and around the
abandoned farms, and the desolated landscapes, all of that cooperates
nicely to let us leave the theater satisfied. Also, no action or
violence for the sake of it, but what we get perfectly fits in the
story line. In conclusion, I am fully prepared to overlook the flaws
that I summarized earlier.