Friday, May 14, 2021

Undergods Review: A Deep Dive Into A Dystopian World

Release date: May 7, 2021
Running time: 93 minutes
Starring: Kate Dickie (The Witch, Game of Thrones), Ned Dennehy (Mandy, Peaky Blinders), Geza Rohrig (Resistance, Son of Saul), Burn Gorman (Pacific Rim, Enola Holmes) and Tanya Reynolds (Emma., Sex Education).
Directed By: China Moya

In a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, K and Z roam the streets on the lookout for corpses and something even more valuable - fresh meat.

Undergods main draw is the amazing setting.  Set in a dystopian Europe, the film feels like something out of a post apocalyptic videogame.  The start reminds me of Metro 2033, an amazingly atmospheric game, with Undergods's portrayal of people in a deserted, dilapidated city scrounging for what they can.  From the buildings, to the large industrial trucks, to the clothing, everything in this film transports you to this other world.  But what really sets this apart is that the film doesn't just take place in deserted areas.  Several of the stories are set in nice houses or futuristic looking factories.  The contrast between these areas is striking, and you are hit with the differences in cleanliness and color.  Despite the fact that these places aren't popping with bright colors, the contrast will make them seem like they are.  In a drab wasteland, even a dash of faded color is enough to draw your attention.  

And Undergods setting doesn't just sell this; the performances help as well.  Some are over the top but they fit in this burned out wasteland.  And the performances look at extremes in emotion, from frenzy to the total lack of emotion.  They are strange and weird but perfectly fitting for this world.  And they also allow you to meet plenty of interesting characters in this world.  It seems like everyone has an ulterior motive, and plenty of characters only show their true colors later in the story.  This general distrust makes for some tense situations and some excellent drama.  

The tale of Undergods works as a series of stories or cautionary tales set in this world.  The two protagonists tell them throughout their day and they give a varied look into this strange setting.  Each tale also seems to have a moral to the story--some small takeaway about life or greed--but overall they are odd, brutal, and interesting.  The variety is wonderful as it lets you see different lifestyles and characters, and a lot of what is touched on speaks to our own modern times as well.  And throughout this all, you have a strong, sometimes otherworldly soundtrack to move the stories along.  This film won't be for everyone, but for those that give it the time you will be pleasantly rewarded with your deep dive into this dilapidated world.

Undergods's dire setting and storytelling format make for a fascinating, varied, and horrifying deep dive into this dystopian world. 

Watch it.

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Undergods is available in theaters, digitally, and on demand on May 7, 2021.  

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