I won’t leave you!
Director : Carl Zhang
Cast : Alex Rendall, Mindy Fyfe, Miguel Feliciano, David Lam, Kym Wangeman, Gonzalo Ortiz, Michael Redfearn, James Polidoras and Armando Ortiz
So here is something that I’ve never reviewed before, a short film. With a run time of just 13 minutes and 42 seconds this is comfortably the shortest film I’ve ever reviewed since I started this site just over three years ago.
Earlier this year I bought the game “The Last Of Us” for PS3 and I became hooked. It was a masterpiece of gaming and arguably the best game I’d played since “Resident Evil 4”. Admittedly I’m not much of a gamer, I bought a PS4 about four months ago and only own three games, one of which I haven’t actually played yet.
But anyway, when I saw that there was a short film I thought why not watch and review it?
Joel (Rendall) is travelling with a group of survivors of the fungal outbreak when their car suddenly breaks down in the middle of a clearing in a forest. Everything seems fine at first before one of the group is attacked by a clicker (someone who has been infected for at least 2-4 years).
Suddenly the group are attacked by more clickers and despite putting up a valiant effort, the majority of the group are eaten and infected by the virus themselves. Only Joel and woman (Fyfe) survive. They manage to escape into a nearby cabin that they believe to be empty.
Obviously with this being a short movie there isn’t really a lot to review, but the one thing that I will say is that if they were to make a film based on “The Last Of Us” then I would want it to be like this and I would hope that Zhang would be the person they contacted to direct it.
For me the reason this works well is because it carries the same atmosphere as the games, whilst acting in a mostly stand alone way. You could watch this without having played a single minute of the games and get largely the same experience as someone who had. It contains a similar feel to the more action orientated scenes, whilst keeping the morality issues that made “The Last of Us” so addicting, such as deciding whether to kill someone who has been infected, or whether to let them turn. As a short film it worked well, I’d hope that if they did make it full length they’d focus a bit more on the relationship building.
The atmosphere is eerie, the acting is surprisingly decent and whilst being completely non-canon, if it were official it would help develop the character of Joel by filling in some of his backstory. It is set after the opening few minutes of the game (in other words after his daughter is killed), but well before he gets involved in the story with Ellie.
It’s a short film but there is more to the near fourteen minute run time that most full length features have. If they do decide to make a feature length film based on the game then I sincerely hope that it is similar in terms of production and atmosphere as this.
Whilst not long, it is an example of using what you have to great affect, and boy does it do that well.
As there isn’t a trailer for it and the whole thing was uploaded to Youtube, below is the film. Spare 14 minutes of your life to watch it.