2013 / Director. Denis Hennelly.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The poster for GOODBYE WORLD caught my attention but I knew nothing about it. I took a peek at the synopsis and was intrigued by its premise. And so with absolutely no expectations I went ahead and watched it... and I was impressed. A young family who live off the grid, hidden away in their luxurious eco homestead invite friends to stay with them. At the very same time a cyber attack is launched on America and the country collapses. With their self-sufficient lifestyle and sustainable stockpile the group of friends bunker down as the world around them implodes. At first it all seems novel and fun but as the reality of a new order sinks in they find their remote security threatened by those outside who are desperate. The film plays out like THE BIG CHILL crossed with THE TRIGGER EFFECT (and a bunch of apocalyptic survivalist films). The dynamics amongst these friends shifts and skews throughout the story and tension builds when secrets are revealed. Taking on the whole BIG CHILL homecoming type of set-up is an interesting way to tell an apocalypse story. It's a smart approach and allows big events to unfold in a modest, low budget way. That's not to say that the film's low budget is to its detriment. To the contrary actually. Director Denis Hennelly has done a great job. The cinematography is stunning and the constant feeling of dread over-looms heavily. The early scenes of the initial cyber attack and its pulse are truly eerie and the tone of the film is established effectively. The cast is all good and the characters are well conceived. Some are irritating while others are endearing and as mentioned earlier, those dynamics switch at various points. I suppose it would be easy to criticise the simplicity of the story but taking that approach would be misguided. The film's simplicity is what sells it. It has its preachy moments and does hold a mirror up to the world we live in... but it doesn't take a political stance and above all of that it is a story about how people of conflicting ideologies deal with crisis. Pretty cool stuff.