This movie was screened at Panic Fest.
The post-apocalyptic road movie “Walking Against the Rain” takes on a different meaning in a post-COVID world, as writer-director Scott Lyus‘ film explores the toll that the absence of human interaction and communication can take on our overall health and well-being. It’s a story about what it truly means to be alone, told in a dystopian world where monsters have evolved as the major threat to the last remaining humans on Earth.
Blair (Sophia Eleni) and Tommy (Reece Douglas) are two strangers who are making their way across a barren landscape in a desperate attempt to find each other. Their sole form of communication? Two battery operated radios that are close to dying. As the navigate their route to a cabin location that may or may not turn out to be a safe haven, Tommy and Blair must fight off dangerous scavengers and the evil monsters they call “The Forsaken,” who only want to kill.
It’s hard not to draw parallels between the film and the global Coronavirus pandemic, which I think many of us will be doing with movies like this for years to come. It’s easy to relate to the lead characters and their feeling of isolation, desperate to find any sort of human connection while facing a fear that was randomly taking the lives of others. This gives a deeper level of meaning to the film, which works well with the other thematic elements of religion, grief, and survivor’s guilt, combined with fundamentals from horror, science fiction, and romance genres.
This is a project that was made with a very low budget, so expectations should be set lower than usual. The dialogue is rough, the acting is stiff and amateurish, and the monsters look really bad. Lyus unwisely decides to go the character-focused route to tell his story, which is a really poor choice. The clunky writing slows down the pacing of the story, and the lack of charisma from the two leads is painful. The development of Blair and Tommy’s back stories is good, but their mediocre acting abilities ultimately hurt the film.
All things considered, the film looks pretty good. Lyus has a keen eye for directing, and his timing is sharp when it comes to building mystery and suspense. It’s his story that feels all too familiar.
I hate to be too harsh on such a small project like “Walking Through the Rain” because there are a lot of things the film does well. Lyus captures the sadness of being alone and the relief of having found companionship when all hope is lost, and the conversation-starter of an ending makes it slightly easier to overlook the film’s more glaring flaws.
By: Louisa Moore