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Film / The Survivalist

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The Survivalist is a 2015 British post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller film written and directed by Stephen Fingleton, starring Martin McCann, Mia Goth, and Olwen Fouéré.

The story takes place in Northern Ireland after a Post-Peak Oil collapse in the world's population. The titular Survivalist, a man living on his own in the middle of a forest, is joined by a mother and daughter who are desperate for shelter. He takes them in, on his own terms, but they have their own plans.

Tropes in this film:

  • Aerith and Bob: Kathryn and her daughter Milja.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: We get to see the Survivalist masturbate himself over the photo of a woman, implied to be someone from his past. He then uses his semen to fertilize his crops.
  • After the End: The film starts with a graphic showing a red line for world population and a blue line for oil production. They go up, then the blue line falls down, and then the red line falls down, and down, and down. That's your backstory.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. The Survivalist has two shells for his shotgun. Later, the team get a revolver with one bullet left.
  • Cain and Abel: The Survivalist left his brother to die when they were chased by other angry survivors (his brother raped a girl of that community).
  • DVD Bonus Content: The disc comes with three short films:
    • "Awaydays": A prequel, in which a Crazy Survivalist teaches his two young sons to shoot.
    • "Insulin": A separate story in the world of the main film.
    • "Magpie": A pilot version of the main film, with a more predatory Survivalist.
  • Fanservice: If you are a fan of the male body, The Survivalist will service you.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • The first time we see Milja naked, there is Questionable Consent to contend with.
    • On another occasion, she is attempting to perform an abortion on herself.
    • When we see Kathryn naked there is no coercion or threat (she's swimming in the river), but she's not as young and pert as her daughter, and some people won't find that attractive.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Despite the Sex for Services pact, the Survivalist goes out of his way to protect Milja. Her mother on the other side is plotting with her on how to get rid of him.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. When Milja becomes pregnant, she attempts to induce abortion with a copper rod, but it fails. She isn't portrayed as bad for this (and did it at her mother's advice), especially given the crapsack world they find themselves in. However, later she's accepted her situation. The movie ends with her discussing what to name the baby.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: The hunters who have targeted the Survivalist and manage to capture him alive are implied to be cannibals.
  • No Name Given: The Survivalist's name is never given.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Kathryn wants to kill The Survivalist and take over his patch. Milja says that she will cook a meal with poison mushrooms. No one swaps their dishes around when the meal is eaten, but we find out that Milja gave the poison to Kathryn, which she intended, but the audience probably were not expecting.
  • Questionable Consent: Kathryn and Milja are desperate for food and shelter. The Survivalist has a bed and a shotgun. So Milja sleeps with him. The Survivalist is not used to company, so the gun is probably to protect himself from her possible threat, and not to force her compliance, but if Milja didn't sleep with him, then she and Kathryn would have been sleeping outside.
  • Sex for Services: Milja and her mother agree for the former to have sex with the Survivalist in exchange for food and a place to sleep.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out!: The Survivalist gets shot, and Kathryn and Milja dig out the bullet. They note that it's still in one piece.