DVD Review: ‘The Collapsed’ Nearly Caves in on Itself
Many see 2012 as another year of superhero films, but 2012 is also the year of a far different type of film as well: the post apocalyptic feature (which makes total sense). With the Mayan predicted day of the apocalypse slowly approaching, Anchor Bay Entertainment has decided to release writer/director Justin McConnell’s sci-fi/drama/horror project, The Collapsed, on DVD this week.
When an unknown event drives the world into chaos, the Weaver family desperately tries to hold on to each other and make it out of the city alive. The group of four, under the leadership of their father Scott (John Fantasia), looks to travel to Dover’s Bend, a potential sanctuary for the family, but in order to get there they take to the woods to avoid any and all contact with dangerous people looking to take advantage of them. As they traverse the forest, they realize that someone or something is after them that may be much more threatening than other survivors.
When watching The Collapsed, it’s clear that McConnell is going for a slow burning, psychological drama/thriller than he is horror. Actually, the only elements of real horror that are displayed are at the end when the “big” reveal takes place, which is only moderately satisfying. The other moments of psychological intensity are more thrilling than scary and end up leaving you just as confused as the characters on screen. In this regard, McConnell has done an effective job of keeping you just as informed as the characters are, up to a certain extent.
The Collapsed is very much like the film YellowBrickRoad, both focus directly on the characters, their interactions with nature and the idea that some sort of eerie/threatening presence exists in the woods, resulting in a temporary mental breakdown of the character(s) it’s targeting. The idea of a presence is what makes both films interesting and is the only real aspect of the film that will pull the audience in.
Unlike YellowBrickRoad, there are no likable characters in The Collapsed and, though I tried, it was difficult to root for the family and their safety once the first deaths occur. Much of this displeasure has to do with the personality of the characters as it does with the poor acting. The daughter Rebecca (Anna Ross) is a pest and doesn’t understand the magnitude of her family’s situation, Scott has an iffy New England accent, the son Aaron (Steve Vieira) has one too many mood swings, and the mother Emily (Lise Moule) is just annoying to watch and listen to.
Overall, The Collapsed is simply another entry into the post apocalyptic film catalogue. It’s not as well made as Xavier Gens’ The Divide but it also isn’t as frustrating. It’s a film that does a good job focusing on its characters but also one that shares the same issue so many b-rated “horror” films fall victim too, inconsistent acting from its b-rated performers. I may not be a big fan of The Collapsed, but I am eagerly awaiting McConnell’s follow-up feature, Skull World, a comedic documentary about Canadian cardboard-based combat.
Can’t forget about the extra features. Anchor Bay has put together a decent disc but mostly with your standard bonus feature content:
- Feature length behind-the-scenes documentary “Apocalypse On A Budget: The Making of The Collapse;” which can be accessed using the QR Code on the actual disc label.
- Two audio commentaries: director/writer/producer Justin McConnell & co-story/co-producer Kevin Hutchinson; Then there is a separate track from lead actor John Fantasia
- Music Video: Rob Kleiner’s “Devil In Disguise”
- Photo gallery
- Cast and Crew bios
- Available for download are the original score jukebox & free MP3 album, original screenplay and more.
If you’re looking for a slow burning psychological horror/drama/thriller to try out and you enjoyed films like The Divide and YellowBrickRoad you may as well give this one a watch, though I would recommend renting rather than purchasing it. If you’re not, then skip this borderline fodder completely.
Rating: An eerie but weak film that you’ll forget about in a week (3.5/10)
Disc Rating: 5/10
The Collapsed will be available on DVD on June 5th.