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Drama - Survival

The Philosophers: After the Dark (2013)

Duration1h 38m
Ratings UK: 15, USA: R, Spain 16,
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorJohn Huddles
Writers/ScriptJohn Huddles
StarringJames D’Arcy, Sophie Lowe, Freddie Stroma and 18 other young people I had never heard of.
RatingsIMDb: 5.6/10 by 22,555 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 71% by 14 reviewers. Review2view: 3/10.

Summary: It is the last day of term at an international college in Jakarta and 20 students are given a task by their philosophy tutor which is, in the event of a nuclear holocaust there is a bunker available in which ten of the twenty may be saved. They draw slips from a box, which gives them life skills. The bunker is given content, food for a year, a bullet proof glass door which has an entry code, and two pistols and an automatic rifle. In the class the scenario is played out, but is transferred to a simulation of the real event. After the first test the players are given additional attributes and they go again with different people saved and different outcomes, and then again for a third time. The tutor designates himself as a wild card, but he has an agenda in the real world due to his relationship with one of the students.

Content: there is just a bit of male semi-nudity where two characters have apparently had sex, and another where two young men are  supposedly at it. No drinking or drug taking. The students go through the process of taking or roles and arguing in class, and as they do so the scenes are transferred to some sort of reality, where they watch the nuclear mushrooms and then go through the process of selecting the ten who will survive in the bunker. This is done three times with variations, the bunker apparently changing locations. There is a bit of gunfire since the tutor often has a gun.

A View: No matter how little this film cost it is pretty certain that it lost money. Only 14 critics reviewed it and of them only some liked it. The premise is not unlikely, it is the sort of puzzle much used by team builders and creative writing tutors and is a way of observing the participants displaced from their real lives. I read the biogs in Wikipedia and it seems like a good idea, but as a couple of critics observed it did not manage to abide by its own rules and so for me failed at the first fence. No matter how attractive the idea may seem it is really not worth your time so give it a miss.

This could be billed as a survival movie. If so we have others which might be more entertaining. Three are: 10 Cloverfield Lane, Kursk and the alarming U-Turn.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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