2014 / Director. Jason Trost.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I've got a lot of time for director Jason Trost. His 2011 film ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE was a film that really inspired me. Although the film itself was definitely good it was the back story to it that earned Trost a lot of my respect. He was offered a budget and he rallied to have the film written, shot and edited within a matter of weeks. His latest film is HOW TO SAVE US and it brings him to Australia where he sets his story in Tasmania during an unexplained quarantine. The entire island state has been abandoned due to an unidentified plague. With signs that his brother is still alive the film's protagonist, Brian, attempts to brave the quarantine and discovers something far more sinister than an infection. Using electricity as a source of energy, the island is plagued by invisible spectres, which can only be seen through infrared. As Brian's search draws closer to its end he finds himself faced with an evil far more personal that he could expect. This is an impressive little film and Trost has once again proved to be a formidable independent filmmaker. His story is solid and its narrative is fluent. As a foreigner he has done an amazing job using the Australian surroundings to help tell his story. With his cinematographer Phil Miller doing an impeccable job, the arid landscape has been beautifully captured and lends the film an eerie and foreboding quality. Trost himself has a great presence on screen and he carries the film singlehandedly. The ghostly spectres are well conceived and are never exploited on screen. We only ever see fleeting glimpses of them, which makes their presence much more chilling and the sound design surrounding them is unsettling. I suppose I could nit-pick a few small grievances I had with HOW TO SAVE US but I honestly don't see the point. This is a low budget, independent film with a strong foundation in genre and a uniquely vivid vision. With a post-apocalyptic aesthetic and a chilling sound design it conjured the same unnerving feelings that I got when I watched PHASMA EX MACHINA, which was a film that left a lasting impression on me. This one may do also.