Post-apocalyptic tales seem to be all the rage in the horror genre at the moment.

What with The Divide and Hell’s recent release (both reviewed on our site), the approach seems to be a convenient way of stripping back a story to a handful of characters and some deserted, or barren, landscapes.

Taking things to extremes is Justin McConnell’s The Collapsed, a real low-fi slow-burner of a movie that starts off relatively promising but pretty quickly falls apart at the seams.

Right from the off we are thrown headfirst into the lives of the Weaver family, making their way out of the city and into the sticks after ‘an incident’ seems to have pretty much wiped out the population.

Numerous references are made to an event of some sort that has taken place, but nothing is ever shown or given in way of explanation.

In fact, were it not for a couple of very brief shots of buildings on fire and the like, you would be none the wiser that anything cataclysmic has actually occurred.

An air of ambiguity is fine by me, after all many of my favourite zombie movies over the years rarely give reasons for why things are happening, but here it just smacks of cheapness or the simple fact the writers couldn’t come up with something decent enough.

Anyhow, leading the Weaver family is dad Scott (John Fantasia), who has in tow his wife, son and daughter.

Scott is obsessed with trying to reach his other son in a nearby town, and the film basically takes the shape of a journey along road and forest as the search goes on.

We get plenty of family squabbling, some poor dialogue and acting, and occasionally a quickly-defused air of tension when something promises to happen – but doesn’t.

Just as things are meandering along, suddenly we get the introduction of some Evil Dead-esque zoomy camera work, a quick change in pace and an ending that is equally lazy, derivative and groan-inducing.

To be fair Fantasia tries very hard to holds the whole thing together and he is certainly the pick of the bunch when it comes to the performances.

McConnell’s direction is not particularly bad, in fact a number of sequences are well shot, but the whole thing is just too sluggish.

The Collapsed has elements that make it bearable, and at 82 minutes does not outstay its welcome, but this is strictly ‘if you have nothing better to do’ material.

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.