Short Film Review “Instapocalypse”



First, the Recap:

When the world has been overrun and, for the most part, been utterly (and literally) cannibalized by raging zombies, wouldn’t one surmise it’s about time to do whatever one can to simply, flat out survive and not get caught up in the most petty arguments possible?? Well, maybe that’s what common sense would say, but it seems not to apply to apocalypse survivors Claire (Cecilie Svendsen) and Andrew (Patrick Finzi). As they continue the arduous journey through the wooded landscapes riddled with reminders of the devastation wrought on the Earth, they come upon several wrecked vehicles, within the hood-less, engine-free front end of one lies a motionless zombie (Asbjorn Roen Halsten).

Cautious and ready to strike if need be, Claire and Andrew find no semblance of life in the corpse and so begin to dig around its pockets until unexpectedly, one particular item stands out–an iPhone. Treating it as if its the most beautiful thing they’ve ever witnessed, the two turn what starts as a general sense of awed discovery into a one-on-one argument that builds and builds in intensity when only one idea consumes them both–the desire to post pictures on Instagram. As their fracas ensues, they both get surprised when the other “guest” turns out to not be quite as dead as assumed. However, what happens during their initial panic soon turns to baffled curiosity, subsequent action, and a suddenly indifferent mindset.

Next, my Mind:

In a pure stroke of comedic, genre-defying genius, Norwegian writer/director/editor Martin Sofiedal completely turns the entire concept of zombies and apocalypse survivors on its head, delivering a totally hilarious, deftly written, smartly executed effort that only takes a mere four minutes to present its zany narrative and do it well. Crisp visuals aid in carrying the viewer through the tale’s illustration of human (and inhuman) vanity with a sharp wit and intelligently pointed stab at this world’s obsession with social media and means by which it allows us to put ourselves out there. Top it off with the equally biting commentary one could take from this at how said obsession could actually cause such division between people, and this is the most socially aware zombie film ever conceived!

As the survivor duo in question, Claire and Andrew, who end up at each other’s throats (never mind zombies, after all! Gimme that phone!!) instead of paying more attention to their surroundings, actors Svendsen and Finzi completely engage and entertain with purposely exaggerated, then understated, performances that will leave you chuckling well after the film has its credits rolling. Their characters’ seriousness at the start only makes the de-evolution into chaos that much more riotous, again moreso because of the film’s premise and intent, and the two ham it up wonderfully in order to make the biggest scene possible until having to face some realities of world around them.  It’s a statement of how oblivious and obstinate we become when glued to a phone, and Svendsen and Finzi simply excel in showcasing it all in a few short minutes.

But, not to be excluded, there is Halsten’s bloody-faced, creepy-eyed zombie who decides to come to life again in the midst of strife that one would think would only end in certain doom for the others involved–until it becomes uproariously evident this is one self-obsessed undead dude!  Halsten’s portrayal is a total hoot, and again, puts such a wonderful twist to the proceedings.  Overall, “Instapocalypse” very much deserves some serious notice, both as sheer entertainment as well as a relevant social experiment in presenting an all-too-real, virtually undisputable fact—don’t we ALL end up zombies once that little screen lights up?

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!


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