(directors: Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke; screenwriter: Yolanda Ramke; cinematographer: Geoffrey Simpson; editors: Dany Cooper/Sean Lahiff; music: Michael Hohnen, Daniel Rankine P.K.A Trials, Dr G. Yunupingu & Johnathon Mangarri Yunupingu; cast: Martin Freeman (Andy), Anthony Hayes (Vic), Susie Porter (Kay), David Gulpilil(Daku-shaman), Simone Landers (Thoomi), Caren Pistorius (Lorraine), Lily Anne and Marlee Jane McPherson-Dobbins (Rosie),Finlay and Nova Sjoberg (Rosie) Kris McQuade (Etta), Bruce R. Carter (Willie), Natasha Wanganeen (Josie); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Mark Patterson//Samantha Jennings/John Schoenfelder/Russell Ackerman/Kristina Ceyton; Addictive Pictures/Netflix; 2017-Australia-in English and Aboriginal, with English subtitles)

“Less a scare film than a smart psychological drama on how to handle tragedy with compassion.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

This Australian post-apocalypse zombie horror film is ably co-directed by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke, and written by the latter as less a scare film than a smart psychological drama on how to handle tragedy with compassion.

It’s based on their 2013 short film of the same name. Because of a zombie plague engulfing Australia, due to a virus, Andy (Martin Freeman), his wife Kay (Susie Porter) and infant daughter Rosie (played by twins Lily Anne and Marlee Jane McPherson-Dobbins, and Finlay and Nova Sjoberg) leave the city by a borrowed houseboat in a search for a safe haven. Coming across an abandoned yacht, the couple take their supplies. But a zombie hiding in the boat bites Kay, with the infection taken hold in two days. They go on land to search for a hospital, but a lurking zombie on the road causes them to crash. Kay then bites hubby and the infected man kills her. With two days left as a human, Andy desperately searches for someone to take care of Rosie. He eventually finds an Aboriginal colony, the only group not infected by the plague, to leave Rosie with, thanks to the help he gets from the Aboriginal young girl Thoomi (Simone Landers).

Though a familiar tale, it plays out well telling how strong are parental bonds when it comes to protecting their children despite dangers to themselves. The narrative might be predictable, but it does a fine job in visually capturing the inhospitable grounds of the Outback for the whites and creates a tense atmosphere.

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