Most apocalyptic thrillers exist in large measure for the sizzle, or are at least invested in paying off some fantastical doomsday conceit. But Goodbye World, in which a group of old college friends and lovers of the idealistic and liberal persuasion (including Adrien Grenier and Kerry Bishé, above) find shelter at a remote country cabin in the days and weeks after a crippling cyber-attack, is something quite different. An unusual hybrid of The Big Chill, The Trigger Effect and Into the Wild, director Denis Henry Hennelly’s film exists largely apart from the investigation of cause, arguments about culpability or even the trials of survival. It’s kind of an incidental apocalyptic drama. So even if the movie unravels in the end, there’s still enough that’s stirring and original here to capture and hold the interest of adventurous indie filmgoers.
A low-budget, distinctively character-rooted work that premiered at last year’s Los Angeles Film Festival, Goodbye World was never going to be confused with any of the raft of other apocalyptic movies that have hit the big screen over the past year-and-a-half. But while it doesn’t become completely overblown, suffice it to say that the manner in which the film resolves its exploration of a community riven by fear comes off as unrealistic, and halfhearted to boot. Certain bits feel designed to pay off and salve investor anxieties — to bend and twist Goodbye World into the shape of the very movies that it otherwise consciously avoids aping. And that’s a shame, really, because it’s the other, smaller stuff that sticks with you. Just as in life. For the full, original review, from Paste, click here. (Samuel Goldwyn/Phase 4 Films, unrated, 101 minutes)