Director Ron Hanks’ AFTER THE END comes out August 17th (from Shout! Studios) on all major digital platforms and I cannot wait for you to see it. Director Ron Hanks combines his imaginative vision with cinematographer Elizabeth Hodgman Hanks’ impossibly fertile visual storytelling, a pleasure to watch while my heart pounds away at the ever-present danger of survivors’ desperation.
Occasionally a commentary of the burden put on young people to carry our culture in apocalyptic times, Hanks doesn’t shy away from the realities of patriarchal oppression that is magnified under stress. The physically large will have their heyday as well and the procreators will be considered a commodity. The weak in body will play dead to survive, those with amo will be able to bargain, and the dark of night will carry your worst nightmares – all of this seems ordinary for the genre, but this is no ordinary experience. We get a glimpse into a doomsday-prepper’s worst fear, their apprentice will have to travel into the new world before they are ready. The teenage boy in training for the apocalypse had never really gotten through the coming-of-age he was owed by the old world. He is ill-equipped for everything ahead. And following him is both heartbreaking and invigorating.
Justin Dwayne Hall‘s leading hero “Addison” is slow to react, smart, and soft-hearted. These are qualities of a future civilization, not necessarily the soul who gets past the liminal space of wandering nightmares. Alex Frnka (The Inbetweeners, Deadly Detention)’s cold and guarded “Ava” unravels the horrors of biology and a dark world. She embodies what I fear most in anarchy. As this is a spoiler-free review, I’ll opt to keep my attention to just these two young people. There is pain, loneliness, and ultimately a roadtrip harkening to simpler times. This limited moment of joy is a much needed breath, however short lived.
Director Ron Hanks excels in pacing a usually painfully slow or unrealistic action-packed post-viral thriller to keep audiences guessing. His prepper takes us on a unique adventure that feels dangerously grounded and actionable for today’s audience. Cinematographer Elizabeth Hodgman Hanks exposes Oklahoma’s never-before-explored fascinating terrain while director Ron Hanks blows up the fantasy post-pandemic journey, reigniting our collective conversation on how to survive and where we want to be AFTER THE END.
Enjoy the trailer, make a note to pre-order the film when it comes out, and follow director Ron Hanks’ next adventures HERE