What a fitting title. Symbolic in many ways. What Still Remains shows that their remains a story to be told in the now, genre in itself, post-apocalyptic thriller.
Writer and director Josh Mendoza hurls the audience into a very dark and very gritty world. We meet Anna (Lulu Antariska) and her brother David (Roshon Fegan) rummaging through a deserted town. They search for any goods they can use. Searching for goods through rubble and suffocated hope. But in a blink of an eye they're on the run. From whom? Or what? We don't know. Now begins our free-fall into the chaos.
What makes this story work so well are a number of things. The strong writing and acting specifically. I feel I have to single out the performance by Lulu Antariska. Her acting was so brutally honest. It reminded me of watching Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone. A performance that I, and many others, believe skyrocketed her to super stardom. The writing, amazing.
Mendoza manages keep things interesting and unconventional until the very end. If you're familiar with the genre, even still there are enough scenes that will blindside you. And the ones you may anticipate, you won't care. You'll say to yourself, "there can be no other way." It plays like a fever dream that feels far more real than you'd like it to be.
What Still Remains is now screening theatrically in the U.S. and opens nationwide on VOD next Tuesday, August 14th.