Review: Survivers (2021)

Slash Film Festival
Fantastic Shorts Competition

What would happen if the best scientists in the world wouldn’t be able to make their calculations properly, in the moment when a slightliest mistake threatens to wipe away the humankind? The Spanish director Carlos Goméz-Trigo asks this question a bit differently – What if humans have become stupid?

Three French scientists: Jean-Paul (Alex Moreau), Sophie (Stéphanie Magnin Vella) and Marc (Maarten Dannenberg) are the only survivors of the apocalypse that had created some kind of chemical process which makes people’s heads explode, but according to their calculations, the end of the toxic impact is very near. They believe to know the exact hour and minute when this bliss will happen, and yet the most clever among them – Sophie doesn’t feel confident enough to take off her sealed helmet, especially after the first proof of a miscalculation. Was is the matter of minutes, or did she make a much worse mistake? Is the end of the end really near?

Whatever might possibly happen after a collision of electrical clouds resulting in a mighty toxic gas emission leathal for all forms of life, the survivers would probably never be clad in neoprene suits to protect themselvs from its impact. Even smaller is the chance of a neon glow lit helmet to complete this protective gear. In Carlos Goméz-Trigo’s sci-fi short Survivers, those details are the part of its charm. The red glow is the only bright part of the setting, which is reduced to a car enterior and an empty parking lot.

Survivers is a doomsday comedy about limitations of human knowledge and our arrogant belief in its infallibility, and if there is an old wisdom the film proves wrong, it’s that stupid lasts forever. It obviously lasts only as long as humans do.

Carlos Goméz-Trigo is turning the budgetary limitations into his advantage, and less is more proves true in this case. Suspense is built with a great deal of trickery coming from the sound department (especially the fade-ups) and the uncanny score composed by Christian Azuaje, but also by making the outdoor space ‘neutral’ by letting it sink in the darkness.

We finally caught up with the film at Slash film festival, where it screened in the short film competition.

Original Title: Survivers
Country: Spain
Language: French
Year: 2021
Runtime: 6′
Written/ Produced/ Directed by: Carlos Goméz-Trigo
Cinematographer: Marino Pardo
Sound: Alex Marais
Editor: David Castro Gonzaléz
Art Director: Iván Pinilla
Costume Design: Noelia Lebrato
Make-up & FX: Pablo Marugán, Jorge Navarro
VFX: John Castro Macias (BinarioLab), Alma Cebrián (BinarioLab)
Music: Christian Azuaje