Review: THE OUTER WILD (2018)

THE OUTER WILD Poster

A strange and unnatural event has taken down civilization as we know it. Dangerously violent mutants control most of Earth while the survivors band together in armed encampments. A lone young woman flees the repressive settlement she lives in and may change the world’s fate as she does. No, this isn’t a second review of WHAT STILL REMAINS. This is THE OUTER WILD, the new film from Philip Chidel (SUBJECT TWO).

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After an experiment to save her sister goes violently wrong Laura (Lauren McKnight MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16) flees The Colony preferring to take her chances in the wilderness. She’s pinning her hopes on finding a mythical sanctuary that exists under a red star. The Colony sends Cole, (Christian Oliver HOUSE OF GOOD AND EVIL), a bounty hunter, to bring her back, but circumstances instead send them both on the hunt for this possible Utopia.

But even if it exists, will it live up the its legend?

THE OUTER WILD in many ways is a post apocalyptic Western. A bounty hunter chasing a fugitive and fighting others of his kind to hang on to her. Settlers living away from the safety of the fortified towns. The mutants stand in for the Native Americans, both as potential threats and sources of wisdom. It’s not as blatant as something like SCORCHED EARTH but it’s fairly obvious.

The film takes this familiar structure and adds in some musings on the nature of humanity, civilization and morality along with the expected action scenes. Most of which are human on human because once again, humans are their own worst enemy. Which is central to the question the film’s characters ask more than once. “Are we worth saving?”. The film isn’t entirely certain we deserve redemption. All things considered I can’t blame it.

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There’s also the question is THE OUTER WILD worth watching? There’s not enough action to fully satisfy on that level, and there’s not enough done with some of its big ideas. But the mix is entertaining enough to keep your attention.

THE OUTER WILD is available on VOD from Red Hound Films.

Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy