“Wander” – A Picturesque Lamentation

Written by Angela August 27, 2015

To mainstream audiences, the post-apocalyptic genre promotes a brand of fantasy that suggests mankind would have a ball should the world as we know it suddenly fall to pieces. Despite being forced to revert back to a more primitive means of survival, a release from our current day-to-day routines and corporate culture would refresh and deepen the meaning of our lives….right? LOWKEY Films’ latest short film, “Wander,” begs to differ. Written and directed by Connor O’Hara, “Wander” contrasts the popularized worlds of “Mad Max” and “Resident Evil” with a melancholy tale that quietly honours the everyday pleasures we doubtlessly take for granted.

Through the cold, wet winds of remote moorlands, a young man named Noah (Alex Lincoln) wanders, with naught but his saddened thoughts and memories by his side. Having been born into a post-apocalyptic world made desolate by strange and hostile “creatures” that have long-ago driven mankind out from their cities, Noah’s experience of life has been limited to merely making it from one moment to the next as he pursues whatever meagre meal the callous rural land he calls home might provide. Time is punctuated only by Noah’s pauses to compose letters to Jess, his childhood sweetheart, and it is from these entries that his loneliness is painfully framed. When a rarely-seen helicopter unexpectedly flies over his encampment one day, Noah makes the decision to brave the hazardous journey to see his love once again, even though whatever remains of his humanity may very well be lost along the way.

“Sometimes, I close my eyes, and I feel the world close its eyes with me…”

Laboriously shot over three days by a small crew of eight foolhardy men, “Wander” is LOWKEY Films’ third self-produced film. Filmed on the untamed Dartmoor landscape, the team took full advantage of their haunting surroundings, resulting in fourteen minutes of beautifully detailed cinematography—something I’ve come to naturally expect from the company. “Wander” takes great care to compact an immensely desolate atmosphere into each minute of its limited screen-time. Soft background music mirrors our lost hero’s frayed emotional state and echoes the words he writes to Jess, and his gravelly, desponding narrative commands that we brood along with him. Noah’s voice-over is but a small section of a film that neatly interweaves all basic facets of the medium—sound, editing, and photography—into a poetically sordid vision of a distant and horrifying future.

“Just imagine if we’d met in a time before all this. How different everything would be.”

“Wander” boasts LOWKEY’s strongest writing to date. From start to gruesome finish, the entire film rings a sorrowful, poignant chime. As a concept, the film is remarkable in that it takes an oft recycled idea and makes it entirely fresh by fusing futuristic science fiction with the nineteenth century gothic; without giving too much away, “Wander” can easily be summed up as being akin to what would probably be Charlotte Bronte’s personal take on the post-apocalyptic genre. Noah’s world is that of brutality, isolation, and darkness, all of which are strikingly transmitted through the film’s composition, and ultimately make a walloping impact. Fourteen minutes within it is more than enough to make me yearn for the predictable safety of my own world that hasn’t ended, and where I do not yet have to wander.

Rating: 8/10

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About Angela

Angela McInnes is an English major and up-and-coming horror film aficionado. To her, happiness is a bottle of rum and a creature-feature on a Saturday night.

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