Arcadian (2024) – Film Review

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Arcadian Film Review

Director: Benjamin Brewer
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Jaeden Martel, Maxwell Jenkins 
Certificate: 15

By Roger Crow

There are echoes of Z For Zachariah, How I Live Now, The Girl With All the Gifts, and Attack the Block in this gloomy dystopian thriller.

In a near future, normal life on Earth has been decimated. Paul and his sons Thomas and Joseph have been living a half-life – tranquillity by day and torment after dark.

Every night they face the unrelenting attacks of a mysterious and violent evil.

arcadian film review cage

“Desperate plan”

One day, when Thomas doesn’t return home before sundown, Paul must leave the safety of their fortified farm to find him. A nightmarish battle ensues that forces the family to execute a desperate plan to survive.

A solid cast and some decent effects work help make this thriller work, at times, and if you’re new to the genre then you may enjoy it. But it’s so grim, and Cage being an understandably overprotective parent means we have to endure the usual earnest dialogue about ‘Don’t do this, or that, and be generally miserable as this is the future, there’s monsters out there’.

Huge chunks look like they were shot with a 40 watt bulb, which is a personal bugbear. Dim lighting doesn’t always mean tension. Just once I’d like to see a dystopian siege thriller which is set in a candy-coloured environment with decent lighting. And some original dialogue would help enormously.

Arcadian Film Review

“The run time is perfect”

On the plus side, the run time is perfect. Clocking in around the 90-minute mark is perfect for the story.

If you like A Quiet Place and its spin-offs then fill your boots with this similar offering, but if you have the summertime blues then this definitely won’t ease them.

Cast8
Script5
Direction7
Editing7
Rewatchability3
Arcadian in cinemas on 14th June
6
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