THIS WORLD ALONE
(director: Jordan Noel; screenwriters: Hudson Phillips; cinematographer: Trisha Solyn; editor: Jordan Noel; music: Wil Wright; cast: Belle Adams (Sam), Sophie Edwards (Willow), Carrie Walrond Hood (Connie), Pudge the Pig (Wilbur), Brandon O’Dell (Levi), Lau’rie Roach (Dart); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Terri Measel Adams, Mandy Cate, Hudson Phillips: Apple/iTunes/Amazon/VUDU/Prime Video/Brothers Ray Productions; 2018)
“Considering its budget limits, it does a fair job.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
In his feature film directing debut Jordan Noel shows some promise even if he ultimately fumbles. It’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film written by Hudson Phillips. It was shot in ten days on a budget of $30,000, and considering its budget limits, it does a fair job.
A voiceover by the twenty-something Sam (Belle Adams) tells us about the world after the societal collapse that’s known as “The Fall,” which took place surprisingly some twenty years ago without cause. Gone are modern conveniences, necessities and human connections. Sam has known only this fallen world, but talks mostly of the world she doesn’t know except through books and photographs left behind. She resides with two other women and a pet pig on an isolated but beautiful mountain in a cabin in the North Georgia Mountains: with her overbearing, hardened, tough love mother Connie (Carrie Walrond Hond) and the compassionate Willow (Sophie Edwards), a woman in her mid-30s whom Connie took in during the beginning of The Fall.
When Willow accidentally gets impaled on a piece of scrap metal and needs antibiotics to fight infection, Sam must leave her safe home for the first time to get help and travel alone to the nearest village, called New Macedonia. She is carrying only a bullet given her by mum to pay for the medicine.
On her journey she’s suddenly aided by Dart (Lau’rie Roach), a conflicted 18-year-old black dude named after the character D’Artagnan from The Three Musketeers, who is going back home to his bossy father after going on a for men only rites of passage ritual called a Walkabout–a manhood venture of surviving alone in the woods. The two connect and muse on how sour the world has become as they trek back to the sour NM community, a place where Dart is thinking of leaving. For the two, these are coming-of-age moments.
New Macedonia turns out to be a regressive OT patriarchal biblical village with cruel punishments, a place that has not evolved and remains backwards.
The film has a few interesting moments observing the three women surviving without men by farming and reading the Bible and literature, and the filmmaker comes up with a few thought-provoking themes that unfortunately it only scratches the surface of.
The film needed more of something urgent to get me along for the journey, though it’s not a bad film as much as one that needed more of a story to set it apart from the recent spate of survivalist films using a similar plot line.
REVIEWED ON 6/21/2021 GRADE: C+