“The Tribe” Takes A Bleak Look At A Horrifyingly Possible, Post-Apocalyptic Future



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Posted August 10, 2017 by

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Never let anyone in. That is the single rule Jenny (Jessica Rothe) and her sisters, Sarah (Anne Winters) and Danika (Chloe Beth Jones), were given by their father before he took his own life. It is following that rule that has allowed the three young women to stay alive and generally safe, after an unknown disease obliterated most of humanity and robbed them of both parents. Isolated on a desert compound, that their father built in preparation for the future he rightly believed was coming, the three sisters spend their days eating canned stew, reading story books, and fending off any would be intruder, with an axe and a rifle.

Jenny does her best at being surrogate mother to her younger sisters, and she has her hands full. Sarah is brash and pessimistic, and has resigned herself to the fact that they are all doomed to suffer a slow death. The only joy she seems to get out of life, is in pointing her rifle at anything that approaches the family homestead. Danika is in a permanent catatonic state, due to witnessing her father’s suicide, and has begun to display early signs of the plague that has taken so many human lives.

After going months without seeing a soul, the girls are unpleasantly surprised when a drifter wanders onto their land. Jenny and Sarah, fearing for their safety, attack the man. Before they finish him off, though, he convinces them that he is harmless and only wants a small meal before he continues on. Much to Sarah’s chagrin, Jenny allows him to stay the night. The man tells them his name is Ryan (Michael Nardelli), and that he is in search of a camp, or town, or any form of civilization. Sarah pleads with Jenny to get rid of Ryan, but the two begin developing a trust (and an attraction) with each other that leads all of them to a dark, unsettling final act.

There is a lot to like about director Roxy Shih‘s vision of a post-apocalyptic world. The dusty, barren landscape of the girls’ ranch provides a bleak mood that fits right in, with the horrors of being so isolated and running out of supplies and time. The cast all do a fine job, most notably Winters and Cokey Falkow as Ryan’s fanatically religious uncle Charlie. Shih wisely and patiently builds the tension, for about 80 minutes, and then unleashes a shocking and (for me at least) satisfying end to her story.

All in all, “The Tribe” is a solid addition to the genre, and has amazingly high production value for what must have been a modest budget. It definitely shows the promising talent of Shih, as a director, and should also help open up more starring roles for Anne Winters. I guess my only complaint about the film would be that the characters are a bit thin. It would have been nice to see a bit more of their lives before the catastrophe happened, and maybe see where Ryan and his family came from and what they suffered through. Also, I would warn that the film moves at a deliberate pace. I wouldn’t recommend watching while tired, or in the mood for something action-packed. Other than that, I say you should check it out. As of this review, it is available on Amazon video and other VOD platforms.




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