Consistent in its themes but uneven as a drama, this post-pandemic road movie follows a quartet of twentysomething survivors as they drive across the desert en route to a virus-free Mexican beach where two of them – macho hard-case Brian (Chris Pine from JJ Abrams’s ‘Star Trek’) and his sensitive, educated brother Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci) – spent some idyllic childhood days. Together with Brian’s feisty girlfriend Bobby (Piper Perabo) and Danny’s shy high-school friend Kate (Emily VanCamp), the antagonistic brothers drive through a parched, harshly lit landscape populated by the diseased and the desperate: a father and his infected daughter, a despairing children’s doctor, a pair of gun-toting Christian women, vigilante rapists in anti-contamination suits.
Emphasising character conflict over generic horror, Spanish brothers Álex and David Pastor nevertheless employ some over-familiar scenarios. Armed with guns, bleach, rubber gloves and face-masks, the foursome struggle to keep the viral and human threats at bay, as familial ties and friendships are eroded by harsh life-or-death decisions. Sadly, this thoughtful, low-key exploration of our darker survival instincts is too conventional and unfocused to fully engage our emotions.