ONLY THE GOOD SURVIVE – A Review by Jenn Rohm
Some movies are made for the masses, okay most movies are made to make money and therefore made for the masses. Occasionally movies are made for a specific group, which is the case for Dutch Southern’s Only the Good Survive.
With the use of dark comics and vibrant colors, there is a touch of Scott Pilgrim vs the World and American Ultra vibe to the movie. In an interview with Stephen Saito, Southern said “We did all of that film school geeky stuff where we have yellow for fear and the green means something bad is going to happen, so we color-coded for all of that and we wanted it to have a very shallow technicolor feel to it and to play with the artifice, like what’s real what’s not real, so once you’re in the interrogation room, obviously it’s more like a man cave [with] greens and browns and much more boring lighting.” The color palette along with musical choices helped the audience to react to what was happening.
The film falls in what I call comedic horror, like Cocaine Bear and Shawn of the Dead. There are scenes that make you jump, yet when a body part is cut off, it is not realistic. They are more comical with the amount of red liquid coming out with high pressure. You know the human body does not react that way.
Brea (Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always) is the lookout while her boyfriend Ry (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Erve (Will Ropp), and Dev (Darius Fraser) break into a house. The next day Brea, the only survivor of the group, is in an interrogation room with Detective Cole Mack (Frederick Weller). The two play well against each other in telling their tale of what happened. As the saying goes, there are two sides to a pancake and the truth is somewhere in the middle, their stories are close but not exact.
I used to watch Weller on the show In Plain Sight, where he was a Marshall, named Marshall. If I hadn’t remembered his voice and one of his smiles, I would not have picked up that it was the same actor. There are actors out there the public loves, and you know even if they are in a completely different movie yet still playing a law enforcement role, they will be the same character. This was not the case here. He understood the assignment and delivered it.
With a punk culture vibe running in the background, and hidden finds throughout, I found myself really enjoying the movie. I mean when a bar’s brew of the month is Douchebag Ale, and warning of what’s to come “ruins” include symbols from a high schooler’s doodles of vampire’s teeth and maybe a rebel alliance, I felt like I was among like-minded people.
I do hope to see some awards coming this film’s way from the festivals. It could easily become a late-night cult classic.
Bentonville Film Festival feature entry
Director: Dutch Southern
Written By: Dutch Southern
Cast: Sidney Flanigan, Frederick Weller, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Darius Fraser, Will Ropp
MPAA Rating: Not yet rated.
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Selig Rating: 3 stars
Runtime: 1h 33m
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well there was nothing else…
1 Star – Total waste of time.