Sole Survivor

Sole Survivor ★★★★½

Sole Survivor predates Final Destination by 17 years and you can see it had an obvious influence on Final Destination although Sole Survivor is the more well made film of the two and it is the far more creepy. The movie focuses on a young woman who happens to be the only survivor of a tragic plane crash. Following after being discharged from the hospital, she begins getting the foreboding feeling like she is in danger or harm, she begins to see these strange "people" following her and watching her every movement. All her friends and her doctors are convinced that she is suffering from a type of "survivor syndrome," where she feels guilt for being the only survivor and seeing so many people die from the crash. She begins to feel unworthy or not deserving of her life. It becomes apparent that "death" is not pleased with her for having survived its grip so it begins to send the recently dead to claim what it believes its due.

Not only has it a great screenplay but it is also genuinely- terrifying. It packs in many jump scares where the protagonist could be carrying out unexciting tasks and then suddenly these deceased "people" who do not reflect any life behind the eyes begin to show up. The soundtrack is both eerie and distressing in equal measure to already heightens the bleak, atmospheric and foreboding tone. There is also a nice amount of gore in the film to satisfy those inclined to that and there is some nudity involving strip poker to satisfy all the needs of the horror movie goer.

It was released in 1983 when the "slashers" and sequel fads were just taking off. It was a breath of fresh air in the horror genre that was beginning to run out of ideas in that decade. There is a nice tension that builds and builds to a chilling climax but it is never in a rush to get to that point which allows it to focus on nice character development. There is a strange beauty in the neon colors that are very much present in some important scenes.

Can we escape "deaths" cold grasp? Can we outsmart "death"? Does "death" chase us for what it believes its due? In conclusion, I truly believe that Sole Survivor is just too good to remain as obscure as it is. It is on Youtube as I speak, so don't miss your chance to see this work of art.

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