July 24, 2023

SURVIVE: The Debbie Downer Disaster

SURVIVE (Blu-ray)
2020 / 109 min
Review by Stinky the Destroyer😾
Available at www.moviezyng.com

Remember Quibi? It’s understandable if you don’t, since this streaming service barely lasted six months before shutting down. Its content consisted of programming presented as 5-10 minute episodes intended to be viewed on personal devices. It never caught on, which is also understandable because who the hell pays to watch TV on their phone?

Survive was one of those Quibi shows. More specifically, it was a 12-episode miniseries starring Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins. It has since been re-edited as a feature length film. As budget-conscious disaster stories go, this one is such a relentless Debbie Downer - right from the get-go - that I doubt I would have bothered returning for multiple episodes (even 10 minute ones). As a film, Survive is watchable but never truly engaging. 

Jane (Turner) is a nihilistic young woman who suffers from extreme depression (ever since her father’s suicide) and has been staying in a care facility that provides support for those with emotional disorders. Though being released to reunite with her mother, Jane plans to kill herself on the flight home. At the airport, she meets Paul (Hawkins), who’s friendly and obviously wants to get acquainted, but she (politely) rebuffs his efforts.

"Not to add to our troubles, Jane, but I think you just stepped in moose poo-doo."
Just as she’s ready to end it all, the plane crashes in the snowy mountains. Ironically, she and Paul are the only survivors. Though Jane is initially content to sit among the wreckage and freeze to death, Paul convinces her they must trek down the mountain in order to survive. Complicating matters are Paul’s injuries, but considering he’s got broken ribs and internal bleeding, he doesn’t seem too hampered by them until the narrative requires him to be.

The journey is occasionally interesting, but overly episodic, erratically paced and sometimes really implausible (such as Jane getting buried by a massive avalanche and emerging unscathed). And despite this days-long journey, how is it that food, water and extreme cold never become an issue? During considerable amounts of down-time, these two are either bickering and wallowing in their own misery. Turner and Hawking give earnest performances, doing a fine job conveying personal trauma, but a little levity here and there would be nice.

Though some might be invested just enough in the main characters to see it through to the end, Survive comes to an underwhelming, predictable conclusion. There are better survival movies out there with similar plots and bigger budgets that aren’t nearly as depressing.

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