The world has suffered greatly from a deadly pandemic that has wiped out three-quarters of the global population. It's now five years later, and things are pretty quiet. Empty streets, empty buildings, and honestly? Not a whole lot is going on... on the surface. One of the survivors, Ellie, is doing what she can to not only survive but make the best of a nightmarish situation. Between eating canned cat food because, well, that's what there is and brushing up on her dancing - the world seems a grim and depressing place.
It's when Ellie's life is interrupted by people in white suits she leaves her sanctuary and ends up meeting Quinn - a fellow survivor that fits the end of days cliche in a more proper way. She's tough, gritty, and willing to do what it takes to survive. As the "stalkers," as they're called, hunt down survivors using high-tech sound monitoring equipment, Ellie and Quinn are eventually found out and forced to move on. The last thing they want is to become guinea pigs for the government, military, stalker people. They want a life, and being imprisoned and perhaps even dissected is not in their playbook. It's the end of the world as we know it, and yes, reader, there's even a little cannibalism thrown in for good measure.
Truth be told, considering this is a micro-budget film, it plays off pretty fantastically. I'm not writing "After the Pandemic" will fool you into thinking it's a massive blockbuster - but it's what I call indie done well. The story is easy to follow, the acting is pretty decent, and generally speaking, I was pretty impressed. Does that mean things were perfect? No. But not for the reasons you may be thinking.
The pieces of this film are all here, and don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining... all that much, but the biggest problem with Richard Lowry's film is that I kept being taken out of the story. And honestly? It was the little things that kept picking at my brain. The fact everything was so clean, neat, and tidy. Even the grass was apparently cut. Digging a little deeper, I started wondering how Ellie could have survived all these years and not realized she could eat... say... pasta? Instead resorting to canned cat food. Then there's a scene where Quinn explains to Ellie that some food may be contaminated - followed after by the explanation for the "Stalkers" who want them for their immunity. It's these little things that kept making me stop and think about what I was watching. Still, all in all, the bulk of the film was good enough to enjoy right through until the end. Something that is quite tough for a micro-budget film to accomplish.
When it's all said and done, I enjoyed my time here. The catalyst of the film is a deadly pandemic, but I found that the movie was more about human connection than anything else. It's the connections we have that keep life livable, and "After the Pandemic" reminds us of that. Like the oddly clean world and cut grass, little things don't "really" amount too much when you're enjoying the film for what it is. A good story. Period. Three and a half stars.