For those of us in California, The Last Survivors hits a little bit too close to home. What would become of the world without rain? Water, the most precious and coveted resource, is in short supply and controlled by someone bigger and meaner than you. What would you do? Would you bow down and pray for mercy? Would you hide out and risk death? Would you help the weak and share your preciously small water supply? These are all questions that our female teenage protagonist, Kendal, must face.
The Last Survivors takes place somewhere in Oregon. It has been a decade since the last rainfall, and the once lush landscape has become dried up and barren. Kendal (Haley Lu Richardson) and her boyfriend, Dean (Booboo Stewart) are among the last remaining survivors of the Wallace Farm for Wayward Youth. Kendal is determined to get them across the valley and to some unknown salvation. Their biggest obstacle is a greedy water baron and his henchmen who are searching out the survivors. Kendal and the remaining survivors are the last in his area. Should they surrender to him, he will control all of the surrounding land.
The best of the periphery characters is a young boy named Alby (Max Charles). In a world with everything to fear, Alby is easily the most fearless kid. Kendal continuously convinces Alby that they will all get out alive, but he retorts that heâ€™s fine on his own. Alby is a tough kid and has made himself virtually invisible. There are points where he shows his innocence as a young child, but mostly, heâ€™s tough as nails. He knows that the world is every man for himself, and heâ€™s going to survive it. This world is probably all he has known, begging the obvious questionâ€¦ Is he better off never knowing the world before the chaos?
Although The Last Survivors is a slow burn, I was on the edge of my seat in constant fear for Kendal, Dean, and Alby. Every time she looked through her scope or ran out in the open, I was waiting for something to jump out and grab her. But, there were none of those cheap thrills in this movie. Â I was on the edge of my seat with worry for Kendal. Kendal was on her own while trying to care for a dying Dean. Although the water reserves are drying up, she doesnâ€™t let that deter her. She still plans to get herself, Dean, and Alby to a safe place.
One thing that I wish they would have shown more of is the greedy water baronâ€™s camp. He seemed to be recruiting the remaining survivors, at least those who would fall in line. The perception was that should you surrender, you would be welcomed into this new community. It would have been interesting to see what this community really was. We only got a glimpse of a bunch of water towers behind the fences, but we rarely saw people.
We repeatedly saw Kendal be kind to strangers, offering up her precious water supply. The first time she did this was for a young girl, possibly close to her age. The girl was trying to get home to her family but had no water. Kendal gladly shared her supply, only to later come upon her dead body. The girl never made it across the valley. The next time Kendal shared her water, it was with three vagrants. These three did not seem as harmless as the young girl, and they turned out to be exactly the opposite. The three vagrants turned on her and set up a series of events that would lead to Kendalâ€™s eventual showdown with the greedy water baron.
The Last Survivors will be released in both physical (DVD and Blu-Ray) and digital formats (VOD and all digital formats) on August 4th, 2015.Â