(director/writer: Andrew Cumming; screenwriters: Ruth Greenberg, story by Cumming & Oliver Kassman; cinematographer: Ben Fordesman; editor: Paulo Pandopho; music: Adam Janota Bzowski; cast: Kit Young (Geirr), Safia Oakley Green (Beyah), Chuku Modu (Adem), Iola Evans (Ave), Arno Luening (Odal), Luna Mwezi (Heron), Rosebud Melarkey (Neanderthal woman), Tyrell Mhlanga (Neanderthal man); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Oliver Kassman; Bleecker Street; 2022-UK-in a prehistoric language with English subtitles)

“A survival Man vs Nature thriller about Stone Age life some 45,000 years ago.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A survival
Man vs Nature thriller about Stone Age life some 45,000 years ago, where the primitives speak in an unidentifiable language that requires subtitles. It’s directed by Andrew Cumming, in his feature film debut, after making shorts and TV episodes. It’s based on the story by Cumming and Oliver Kassman, and is written by Ruth Greenberg. The film has a forgettable story that is however beautifully filmed in the Scottish Highlands, as its stunning visuals set the right primitive atmosphere.

A group of cavemen cross the sea and on foot try to find a new home in an unfamiliar inland spot. They find a barren place with rocky hills, and with a foreboding grey sky during day and at night a constant scary shrieking sound from an unknown creature.

While sitting around a campfire, the group’s chief, Adem (Chuku Modu), allays the fears of his tribe. The members include his pregnant wife, Ave (Iola Evans), his son, Heron (Luna Mwezi), the younger son Geirr (Kit Young), and their adopted stray young girl, Beyah (Safia Oakley Green), who is basically their slave, and the pessimistic tribal elder, Odal (Arno Luening).

Unhappy at that spot, the group travels further inland searching for food and shelter, as the creature picks them off one at a time. The chief’s plan is to either appease or kill the creature.

The unseen creature is finally revealed in the third act and is underwhelming.

REVIEWED ON 2/10/2024  GRADE: B-