By: Addison Wylie
A dangerous plague has wiped out most of humanity within wide proximity of Refuge’s main family. The secluded family has stowed themselves away in their crumbling abode as life around them breaks down and dawns a bleak future.
Refuge isn’t a film where the infected are on the hunt for the living. Andrew Robertson’s slow burn is a study of survival as the human race turns on each other. Unkempt gangs roam the vacantness in search of goods, and take out whoever may be in their way. In a new world with no consequences, who needs morals, right?
If you’re reading this break down of the film, lost interest, and started thinking about your errands you have do today, you’re forgiven. I don’t blame you! Robertson’s Refuge is a derivative dystopian invasion flick with plain villains and an interchangeable group of good guys. It’s easy to lose track of the film once you’ve seen it due to the fact that Refuge offers nothing new.
That said, the film is competently shot and Robertson (who also edited Refuge) makes good use of bloody kills.
Though the main family isn’t memorable, I did appreciate the time Roberston and his co-screenwriter Lilly Kanso took to try and build these characters. There are some genuine tender moments that work between the family before all of the unoriginal action goes down. One scene in particular is easy to attach to as we watch everyone listen to an old radio serial before they call it a day.
Robertson is able to make the emptiness around our characters believable, but there’s not much of an inspired dynamic to go along with this select strength.
If you were a fan of The Strangers, you may find some of the paranoia in Refuge effective. Then again, you may find yourself questioning why you’re finding more enjoyment in reminiscing about The Strangers instead of watching Andrew Robertson’s dreary drama.
For more information on the festival, visit the official TAD webpage here.
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