One of my absolute favorite movies at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival was Stephen Fingleton‘s “The Survivalist,” a pragmatic post-apocalyptic film about the lengths people will go to survive. Unlike many films in the genre — which tends to focus on either spectacle or heavy-handed parables explaining why humanity is the true monster — “The Survivalist” offers audiences a future where our own standards of morality have long been put to rest. The film’s characters are willing to trade whatever they have — food, sex, supplies — to ensure survival for another day, and while that may sound bleak, Fingleton’s film weaves its story around a few thin threads of compassion that makes the whole thing work.

And while it’s been a long and winding road for “The Survivalist” to find its way into American movie theaters, I promise you the film is worth the wait. The film has been picked up by IFC Midnight, which should give you every indication of its quality; IFC Midnight releases might not be for everyone, but no genre distributor can match IFC for the consistent quality of its horror films. This is the same company that picked up movies like “The Babadook” and “The Devil’s Candy,” and I’d argue — very passionately — that “The Survivalist” is a lot closer in quality to these titles than you’d probably expect.

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Here’s the full plot synopsis for the film:

A time of starvation. The Survivalist lives off a small plot of land hidden deep in forest protecting his crop from intruders with his shotgun and improvised traps. But the long years alone have taken their toll on him and he is beginning to lose his grip on reality.
 
Everything changes when a starving woman called Kathryn and her teenage daughter, Milja, discover the farm. Desperate for shelter, the mother offers up her daughter to spend the night with him in return for bed and board. Overcome with desire, Survivalist breaks his strict code of self-preservation and accepts them into his cabin. As the exchange becomes an uneasy ongoing arrangement, the women plot to get rid of Survivalist and have the farm for themselves. But just as they are about to put their plan into action, an intruder kidnaps Milja and Survivalist risks his life to save her. As he is nursed back to health by the women, food runs short on the farm and they are forced to make desperate decisions to survive. 
“The Survivalist” stars Mia Goth (“A Cure For Wellness“), Martin McCann, and Olwen Fouéré (“The Other Side Of Sleep“). It will hit select theaters and VOD on May 19.