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After The Dark

Formerly known as The Philosophers, this psychological thriller asks you to question who would you sacrifice in the event of an apocylpse. But is this movie as exciting as it sounds?

At an international school in Jakarta, 20 senior are preparing to relax on for their last day of school, but their philosophy teacher Mr Zimit (James D’Arcy) has other plans. He challenges his class in a thought exercise where they are facing an atomic apocalypse. With only 10 spaces in a safe bunker they must decide based on their allocated at random jobs who should get the spaces in the bunker and who should be left to die.

After The Dark is a likeable but extremely frustrating movie. It starts off well as we are introduced to the students and they are thrown into this exercise by their teacher. The film imagines what the impending apocalypse would look like and visually the movie is quite striking. As the students debate over who should be allowed in the bunker we then get to see the consequences of their choices as the action plays out. It does make you wonder who would you save in an extreme situation if you only knew their occupation and how valuable they would be in rebuilding society.

The problem is that there is little real life consequences to the action. Or at least not anything interesting like an actual apocalypse. So there is never that much threat because you know  in the end no one’s life is in danger. Still for two-thirds of the film it is still intriguing to see what choices the students will make. But the final third of the movie falls rather flat, when events take such a cheesy and irritating turn that you wish the nuclear apocalypse had wiped out all the characters, especially the central protagonist Petra- whose been given the role of Structual Engineer (Sophie Lowe) and her dull boyfriend  James organic farmer (Rhys Wakefield-much better as the villain in The Purge). Petra is such a boring and annoying character that I wished one of the other supporting characters like Bonnie – the Soldier (Katie Findlay), Georgina-the surgeon (Bonnie Wright), or Jack -PHD in Chemistry (Freddie Stroma) would have been better more likeable central protagonists. It would also have a more depth if Mr Zimit was actually trying to teach them an important lesson. Instead when his true inentions are revealed he just comes across as petty and lame.

Still it if you get bored you can play your own game of which characters you leave behind in the event of an apocalypse.

Rating 2.5/5 – ambitious but a cheesy third act and an irritating protagonist undermines its potential

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