The Movie Waffler New Release Review [Digital] - SCHOOL’S OUT FOREVER | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [Digital] - SCHOOL’S OUT FOREVER

school's out forever review
rebellious teenager who finds himself in a fight for survival when a global pandemic leads to a violent siege at his school.

Review by Hugues Porquier

Directed by: Oliver Milburn

Starring: Oscar Kennedy, Liam Lau Fernandez, Alex MacQueen, Samantha Bond, Jasmine Blackborow, Steve Oram, Anthony Head

school's out forever poster

Adapted from a novel by Scott K. AndrewsSchool's Out Forever is directed by Oliver Milburn, best known for his 2016 film Dunroamin, which won the award for 'Best Drama' during the Discover Film London Festival that same year.

We follow Lee Keegan (Oscar Kennedy), who, after being expelled from his private school for boys, will face a much bigger problem - a virus has spread around the world, killing everyone whose blood type is not O Negative.

school's out forever review

On the advice of his mother, Lee takes refuge in his old school, where he is reunited with his best friend Mack (Liam Lau Fernandez), as well as other students, a teacher (Alex MacQueen) and a nurse (Jasmine Blackborow).

Lee's return to school is followed by the arrival of another group of survivors, who are determined to make a child pay for the theft he committed. This interruption and the conflict that follows provides the thread that leads to the film's various events. One of the assailants is the daughter of the leader of a group of armed survivors (Samantha Bond), who will try to find her daughter at any cost.

school's out forever review

This scenario doesn't seem very original; the confrontation between two groups of survivors is a rather common trope of post-apocalyptic films. Whether in the recent Light of My Life (2020), Greenland (2020) or in the amazing The Road (2009) or 28 Days Later (2002), we can see that one of the most dangerous and scary threats is human behaviour. Indeed, the post-apocalyptic context seems to bring out a more primal aspect of humanity, seeking to survive and satisfy our needs without worrying about the social repercussions this might have. In School's Out Forever we can see, for example, the evolution of Mack, who gradually loses the notion of reality and whose choices seem more and more dangerous.

The most interesting thing about this film is that it takes place in an atypical environment where atypical events occur. We follow a group of students, absolutely unprepared for the events they will undergo, their reactions and their evolution. The film oscillates between drama, horror and comedy. The events are tragic, but the school context makes the film quite light.

One of the negative points of the film is the performances of certain actors; a lack of credibility is sometimes felt, giving us the impression of watching yet another bloody teen movie.

school's out forever review

Milburn's film might have benefitted from being played as straight horror or entirely as a comedy - the mix of the two doesn't really offer a convincing result. In the same vein, the photography is a bit too classic and smooth. Something dirtier to accentuate the horror, or bloodier to accentuate the comedy, may have been preferable.

School's Out Forever is however a pleasant enough watch, and it ultimately distinguishes itself from a classic post-apocalyptic thriller, without falling into the clichés of a teen movie.

School's Out Forever is on UK Digital from February 15th and blu-ray/DVD from April 12th.

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