The film is set in a post apocalyptic world and so, by definition, is actually a horror film. The apocalypse has been caused by a contagious virus which is transmitted via contact with an infected person or animal.
The story centres on a family, headed up by Paul (Joel Edgerton), who have just lost Grandad to the virus. He leaves behind a daughter, grandson and son-in-law….plus his faithful companion, Stanley the dog. The key, I think, is the dog, assumed benign, but is he?
They end up taking in another family, the mother of whom is none other than Elvis’ granddaughter, Riley Keogh.
By throwing the two families together, the film highlights the human condition and its highly suspicious nature. Each family swears they are virus free, yet one of them isn’t, but who is it?
The ‘drama’ is created when Stanley runs away and is then found dead in the house. Stanley is said to have the virus. Stanley bit Paul before he ran off, yet it is the other couple’s son, Andrew, who is blamed for having the virus.
It shows how, in a world such as this, it is every man for himself and it shows how difficult it is to trust other human beings. Everyone becomes the enemy; something which The Walking Dead illustrates very well.
This film is very very good. The filmmakers have convinced me of this world and have spun a real story within it. It has a shocking ending and leaves you wondering. For me, though, it did leave too many questions.
Was it all Travis’ dream? Was Andrew the carrier? Was Travis the carrier? Was Paul, who got bitten, the carrier? Was Stanley even sick (makes sense he would be, given he was the Grandfather’s dog).
Go see for yourself as, despite my questions, it is well worth a watch.