What Still Remains – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

After the loss of her family, a young woman struggles to survive in a world long-since destroyed by disease; but when a lonely traveler offers her a place in his community, she must decide if the promise of a better life is worth the risk of trusting him. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% (Critics) / 74% (Audience)
MetaScore: N/A
Directed By: Josh Mendoza
Written By: Josh Mendoza
Starring: Lulu Antariksa, Colin O’Donoghue, Mimi Rogers, Jeff Kober
Studio: Gravitas Ventures

The Good:
WHAT STILL REMAINS takes the mission statement of THE WALKING DEAD TV show, namely being a movie about people and not zombies, and runs with it to very satisfying results. The inclusion of religious extremism added to the proceedings in a way that I am surprised we don’t see more of in these types of films. Considering how religiosity permeates every facet of American life one would expect more pockets of wacky religious cults popping up in the zombie apocalypse.

The acting is very good in this too. There is a nice mix of veteran actors with younger actors and no one seems out of their depth or phoning it in. The pathos is felt in all the performances and Mimi Rogers notably showed a lot of subtext in her performance that had me hoping to see more of her especially in scenes with Lulu Antariksa’s Anna as they did their dance of bottled up envy, mistrust and animosity once Anna made it to the religioous group. I also was impressed with Colin O’Donoghue’s performance. My only experience with him is from his time on ONCE UPON A TIME as Hook and I was pleasantly surprised by how well he handled the role of a self-proclaimed religious messiah.

The Bad:
I would have liked to have spent more time in the religious group’s camp exploring just how backwards they were and how they bastardized religion to suit their own needs. It would have especially been interesting to see how Anna slowly started to grow more uneasy with the cult like atmosphere she found herself in and figured out a way to escape.

The Ugly:
I would have loved to be shown what the infected were like in this world. I get the conceit of wanting to show how humanity was just as bad (if not worse) than the infected but a 5-10 minute segment in the movie of an encounter with them would have been nice to see.

Final Verdict: A deep dive into the well worn concept of people being the most dangerous element in the zombie apocalypse that does well with a tight budget, workmanlike direction and excellent performances from the cast.

Grade: B-

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