The Well (2014)
At the edge of an expansive barren valley, all that remains of The Wallace Farm for Wayward Youth is a few hollowed-out husks of buildings. Seventeen year-old Kendal can barely recall when the Oregon valley was still lush. It’s been a decade since the last rainfall, and society at large has dried up and blown away. Kendal and the few others that remain barely scrape by, while dreaming of escape. When a greedy water baron lays claim to what little of the precious resource remains underground, Kendal must decide whether to run and hide or bravely fight for the few cherished people and things she has left.
Genre : Action/Thriller
Country : USA
Haley Lu Richardson : Kendal
Booboo Stewart : Dean
Max Charles : Alby
Director : Thomas S. Hammock
Alternative title : The Last Survivors
“There was a time when a man owned the land, he controlled the water.
But things are different.
The water’s mine, so the land is mine.”
The feeling I had after watching this post-apocalyptic film, was an irresistible urge to drink. Just as in “Mad Max” there’s a scorching drought. Earthly life is reduced to a struggle for survival in a world that hasn’t seen a drop of rain in more than 10 years and the survivors search daily for some precious water. Similarly, the courageous and very young Kendal (Haley Lu Richardson) who goes on patrol every day to get a few sips of water for herself and a few survivors in the area. She’s also looking for a particular component that’s required to make a defect airplane so she and the sick Dean (Booboo Stewart) can escape from the dead and dry Oregon valley.
First the positive comments about this movie. The dreary, parched landscape is truly brilliant portrayed. The decaying houses buried by sand and the endless sweltering desert ensure, as I mentioned earlier, that you soon need something to quench your thirst. To create this miserable, desolate world, the Mojave Desert was used. The isolation of the scattered remaining inhabitants, is filmed in an adequate way. More than once the images made me think of an old Western movie. Also the performances were, especially that of the youthful Richardson, admirable. Quite an achievement at that age. She plays the role as protector and guardian of the spring with skill. The role of Booboo is limited, partly due to his illness, which means that his action space is confined to the attic. And the most adorable part is played by Max Charles as Alby, a brave little boy who sometimes turns out to be more mature than we thought in the first place. And third, despite the lack of action, the tension is tangibly present.
Unfortunately, there were also some negative points. First, the bad guys are not very original. Obviously, there’s again the religious whining. And when push comes to shove, they turn out not to be that clever when it’s about defending themselves. After a while it even started to be a bit monotonous. Over and over again the back and forth running in between the various buildings and abandoned vehicles, really started to irritate at a given time. And seeing this fragile girl using a samurai sword as if she has done this already for years, was also hard to believe.
But still it managed to fascinate me and it all looked intriguing enough, despite the limited budget. The desperate situation in which the individuals found themselves and the insane plan of Carson to acquire dominion over all the available water, so his daughter Brooke would become heiress of an empire, created a nerve-wracking cat-and-mouse game. “The Well” is a typical low-budget film that nevertheless managed to surpass other similar films, just by the appropriate use of limited resources, its authenticity and some decent acting.