Greetings again from the darkness. Here’s yet another post-apocalyptic story, and it even borrows “a boy and his dog” from I Am Legend (2007). However, within minutes, we are drawn in by the stillness of the setting, and the foreboding, snow-covered surroundings that this singular character explores each day.
Director Lluis Quilez co-wrote the screenplay with Javier Guillen, and connects us to the young man as he, “seven years after the incident”, trudges in the snow between abandoned buildings. He checks for radiation while scavenging for food and useful items. He marks each building as safe or not, and even sends out pleas for help … just in case. His tool of choice is a can of black spray paint.
One day he is startled as the daily trek brings him back to his lair with the name “Anna” spray pointed on a wall sign. Suddenly he has hope for companionship and the possible end of loneliness. Over the next few days we learn much about the two teenagers. Anna is 19 years old, and Edgar is 17. In fact, the wall exchanges play like a post-apocalyptic version of our modern day dating apps. Personal information is exchanged and a relationship and bond is developed through only the painted exchanges.
The imagery and visuals of the film are top notch, and the message seems to be that hope is a driving force not just for characters in survival stories, but for all of us. Is it possible that the hope of personal connection may even be a stronger motivator than survival itself?