Written and directed by Richard Lowry, After the Pandemic is an indie post-apocalyptic thriller that is set after a global pandemic has wiped out 90% of the world’s population.
We are introduced to Ellie (Eve James), a young girl who spends her time riding her bicycle around the neighbourhood while trying to find food to eat, which includes the options of tinned cat food and out of date peaches. One day, while Ellie is exploring, she encounters a group known as ‘Stalkers’ who begin to hunt her. When Ellie is saved by Quinn (Kannon Smith), a hardened youth who knows how to fight to survive, the two join forces to avoid the Stalkers. Although both use different methods to survive, the two find that they will need to work together to ensure that they’re not caught.
After the Pandemic starts off with no dialogue, with the film’s score serving as the only sound in the film, reminiscent of the A Quiet Place films but nowhere near as good. I would have preferred if the film had stayed like this throughout the feature, because when the characters have lines and start to engage with each other, it exposes just how weak the acting is. I understand that this an independent film, however, the acting felt very forced and didn’t come across as natural.
On top of the poor acting, the special effects aren’t anything special either. For example, the infected humans have red fluorescent looking skin, which didn’t really make them look scary or intimidating at all. The blood in the film looks so obviously fake, to the point that it is actually funny on how fake it looks. There are also unnecessarily long stretches of moments in the film where nothing remotely interesting happens. Just when you think the film is building up to something that might be good, the results are extremely underwhelming, making a relatively short 84 minute film feel like an eternity.
I do have one positive though, and that’s the musical score composed by the writers and director, Richard Lowry. The music for the film sounds like it was composed on a synthesiser, so feels very 80s, and is reminiscent of the music from John Carpenter films, which I am a fan of.
After the Pandemic is a film that will struggle to hold your attention, and at times during its duration, you will be wishing for the film to be over.
After the Pandemic will be released digitally and on DVD in Australia from the 1st of March 2022.