By midlandsmovies, Apr 28 2020 05:54PM
Directed by Oliver Griffiths
We’ve seen some projects unfortunately take some time to get to the screen but Oliver Griffiths new film Scavengers has taken a long 5-year journey to be finished.
In the world of the low-budget filmmaker, it’s not unheard of and he has returned to a project that couldn’t be more timely covering, as it does, the search for medicine in a ruined and infected world.
Scavengers opens with two characters (Rhiannon Skerritt as Cerri and Jacob Kay as Dean) covered in dirt and grime as they enter a dilapidated building. We are told via a title that this is “Day #158, Supply Run #63, Priority: Antibiotics”. Both help set the scene of this post-apocalyptic vision where resources are scarce and help at a premium.
The couple wander around a number of empty and decaying rooms and the director has used a fascinating location to set his short drama, looking like something from 28 Days Later with its absence of any life.
The couple continue searching until they reach a room where a small amount of medicine sits on a shelf. However, a noise shocks them as a man slowly appears from the darkness. Struggling with an unknown condition, the erratic stranger distorts his face into a crazed scream before beginning to chase the couple through the uninhabited corridors.
The technical side of the short is solid with some great lighting being used too. Shadows, torchlights, silhouettes and natural sun coming in through tall windows all give a menacing atmosphere to the piece. And it helps to shape a moody tone that is present throughout the film’s duration.
When needed, the camera moves are also very well staged. We hurtle through the location and the intensity is raised as the camera pans quickly from the aggressor to his prey.
And as the chase escalates, these great shots work together well ensuring a faster pace as the leads look for an escape.
As they finally reach a safe enclave, they arrive across another seemingly more stable stranger asking for food and water. He’s played well by Josef Duncan, an excellent young actor who sadly passed away in 2019. His brief but captivating appearance here adds some further intrigue to the proceedings.
However, Dean has an infected wound and this stranger raises a gun, and we are posed with the question whether it’s better to face the menace here or take a chance with their assailant just beyond the closed door.
Well, Scavengers ends on an open note where you are left to draw your own conclusions. With elements culled from the Zombie genre, where it lacks in originality it makes up in excellent technical aspects.
From the first-rate camerawork to the noteworthy lighting choices, this 9-minute short uses well known genre tropes to create a titillating and enthralling short about deadly hazards, both inside and out.