Part of the Official Selection at the Cinequest Film and VR Festival, Instapocalypse comes across as what a lazy writer may describe as Black Mirror meets Shaun of the Dead. Ahem. Employing the zombie genre as a satirical vehicle is nothing new but its blend of social commentary and social media comedy make this worth looking up from your phone.
After civilisation has come a cropper at the hands of the undead, two survivors discover an iPhone that still has battery charge. I told you it was funny. Their craving for likes, follows and reposts quickly turns the friends into enemies as they both usurp the undead and become the biggest threat to each other.
The action packs an impressive punch as the pair come to blows over Instagram filters with “Perpetua” vs “X-Pro 2” as the main event (even though the correct answer is Juno). Female lead Cecilie Svendsen’s Tae Kwon Do background here helps her deliver punches as well as she delivers punchlines which both leave male lead Patrick Finzi in the dirt, whilst Asbjørn Røen Halsten’s reanimated corpse has the last laugh.
Magnus Owe’s cinematography finds a certain beauty in the desolate and the decrepit which, when twinned with the location, seems a shame that the audience only has 4 minutes and 26 seconds to appreciate it. However, Director Martin Sofiedal makes sure that not a second of this is wasted. Where Sofiedal came to prominence through his frighteningly faithful video game fan film Unchartered: Ambushed, Instapocalpyse more accurately evokes a scene from fellow PlayStation title The Last of Us and is just as immersive.
For all the zombie films that skirt around the issue of how the end of the world came about, Instapocalypse provides an innovative although somehow still slightly predictable solution that anyone can relate to if they’re ever walked through their town centre during half-term week.
What it also provides, is a poignant social commentary on modernity: an existence where we are validated by thumbs up, @’s and hearts, where hash-tagging Mother’s Day means more than visiting our mothers, and where our digital selves are often successfully nurtured to the detriment of our physical selves.
Anyway, all that aside, be sure to follow me on Instagram @redbezzlebrand. #sorrynotsorry
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Martin Sofiedal
STARS: Cecilie Svendsen, Patrick Finzi, Asbjørn Røen Halsten