Film Review: THE TRIBE (2016)

THE TRIBE ** U.S.A. 2016 Dir: Roxy Shih 97 mins 

After a promising first couple of minutes The Tribe quickly slows down to trickle as we meet 3 sisters whose family have succumbed to a disease that has almost wiped out the human race. Oldest sister, Jenny (Jessica Rothe) is responsible for her siblings and tries her best to control the wayward middle sister, Sarah (Anne Winters) and mute youngest sister, Danika (Chloe Beth Jones). With supplies running out they do not welcome guests kindly until one day, a floppy haired straight-out-of-a-boy band type, Ryan (Michael Nardelli) sweet talks Jenny and Danika into staying for a night with the promise of moving on the next day. This of course doesn’t happen, he stays and gains Jennies trust and interest only to bring their little sanctuary crashing down around them.
This is a great concept and, if you watch the trailer, you might think it is one fraught with suspense and action. In reality though, what the trailer failed to mention is that pretty much all the action and tension occurs in the last 20 minutes and after the first promising 5 minutes it spirals into endless scenes of squabbling, angst and bickering between the 2 sisters that speak, interspersed with baby talking to and the hugging of Danika who spends the whole film with a face like a slapped arse. The introduction of Ryan’s character to the story is excruciatingly painful in places switching from saccharine sweet to dirty rat to do-gooder in an instant. The arrival of Ryan’s uncle Charlie (Cokey Falkow) and friends provides some much needed motivation to the film and it starts to pick up a bit. The mysterious illness that has befallen the human race is mentioned a few times but not really expanded upon or explained so visually looks a bit amateur. A good showcase for Jessica Rothe as she has a lot of scenes of dialogue when its just her and Danika, she and Anne Winters as the argumentative, trigger happy Sarah, do an acceptable job with their characters but for me its too little too late. As it is a low budget film the special FX are limited but not awful, the cinematography and sound track are really quite good which are about the only things going for it.

Review by Sarah Budd

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