Refuge (2016)


Refuge PosterStarring Sebastian Beacon, Carter Roy, Amy Rutberg

Directed by Andrew Robertson

First off, let me just say that the mere thought of another zombie movie made my blood run cold. I’ve loved them for years, and it’s apparently a raging trend right now that has no foreseeable end in sight. Now, with that being said, I believe that the aforementioned statement could possibly be the problem: a sub-genre with no end in sight – I mean, what’s left for these infected, deceased, flesh-munching automatons to do…unless you take them out of the equation of your presentation entirely? Hmmm…we might be on to something – better yet, I believe director Andrew Robertson was on to something. Let’s cut a swath of destruction through these damn zombies and check out his film, Refuge.

Previously titled The Mansion, the film swerves away from the “zombie apocalypse” neon-light advertisement, and goes for a totally sullen, dour, and generally depressing backbone about a tale of the survivors after a cataclysmic event. Now whether or not there are any skin-chewers roaming around the parts of the film, we wouldn’t know, as there aren’t any on display, which is completely fine with me. The real threat here comes from the human race, as the remaining souls left on the desolate planet are virtually split into two groups: people who hide, and those who ravage to survive. Rez (Travis Grant) is the leader of one of those previously mentioned scavenger squads who rely on instinct alone in order to weather another day in the apocalypse. Yet Rez feels that this whole search and gather technique is literally running dry, so he decides to amp up the process: home-invasions with NO survivors to stand in his way. Some would say it’s a harsh way of thinking, but in that scenario, one could argue that the extreme art of self-preservation mutates into something much more primitive and philistine. Standing by in the background of this new game plan is Russell (Beacon), a late tag-along to the welcome-wagon, and he’s just not down with this brand of continuance, so he breaks away from the pack and holes up in a home occupied by a small family with a young daughter that’s slowly succumbing to the illness that’s wiped out the majority of the populace.

As the movie trudges along, we see a “50/50” take on the overall goal of survivors – on one end, Rez’s bloodthirsty will to subsist (and also to gain a bit of revenge on Russell), and the new priority that Russell himself has overtaken, and that’s to keep his own ass alive, plus protect the small family that he’s stumbled upon. It’s a generally interesting take on the end-of-the-world exhibition, and Robertson uses the black and white display to befittingly frame the future and its potentiality for destruction. This certainly isn’t “The Walking Dead”, but the dramatics at times will overwhelm you, for sure. The images of statuesque marauders standing stone-footed on someone’s lawn before attacking will send a chill down your spine, and the sheer barbarism of their actions will repulse you…or will it? Where would you find yourself in a catastrophic situation – hiding out or taking what you need, regardless of who you might damage in the process? This one will make you think, and is definitely a film I could recommend to aficionados of the Armageddon-set. Check this one out if you have the opportunity.

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User Rating 2.88 (24 votes)


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