Given the parlous state of the Irish economy, this movie at least seems to have got it's timing right. If there is to be an Irish apocalypse, then this feels very much what it might look like.
I am a fan of post-apocalyptic movies, and as far as I know this is the only one set in Ireland. This is a pity because the Irish landscape is a testament to boom and bust, feast and famine. Apart from the newly-built, never-lived-in ghost estates, the country is dotted with abandoned farmhouses, huge mansions, and ruins of all ages going back thousands of years. Most movies of the type involve some kind of journey, where a plucky band of survivors have to reach some destiny to perhaps build the world anew. Skillfully the director has avoided such clichés and perhaps taking a leaf out of Cormac McCarthys "The Road", the actual cause of the apocalypse is not described. Two couples have decided to hole up in a lakeside holiday home having stocked up on necessities in the hope that electrical power and civil society will return.
Unlike "The Road", hope is not entirely extinguished for the survivors. There are hints that order and civilisation might return, if they can hold out in their lakeside retreat. There is game in the fields and a self-sufficient hippie neighbour, so survival seems possible, if they can get their act together. Naturally it is not so simple and things go downhill quickly.
Cinematography is beautiful and the characters are well drawn. You get a real gut feeling how desperate their situation is as they try to deal with hunger, depression, looters, infighting and betrayal. But the problem with this movie is that it is nearly all mood, and very slow plot and character progression. It's true, they have to make choices to survive and they are changed, but progression is quite slow the ending is quite muted. I was not looking for a happy ending or dramatic catharsis, but something a little less ambiguous. It did not seem worth all the scenes of gnawing hunger, looting, boredom and bickering in the claustrophobic cottage that the viewer is sat through for 83 minutes.
Of course the options for the director were severely limited by the tiny budget. At around €275k (around $350k dollars), it is amazing to see what was achieved with such meager resources. I imagines that off screen life on the set might have been close to that depicted on screen, with actors and crew huddling around campfires drinking bovril and scavenged canned food.
It is a mystery why it has not as yet been released on DVD, because it is definitely worth catching for fans of the genre. I look forward to what Conor Horgan does next.
Review by poc-1 from the Internet Movie Database.