After The DawnAfter The Dawn (2012)
Directed By Mitchel A. Jones

Starring: Nicole Kruex, Tommy Propson, Aaron Corteau, Shane McCaffrey
Triwar Pictures
Review By Rick Amortis

Plot summary: After chemical warfare has virtually obliterated mankind, Cassie Becker strives to rekindle hope and reunite with her long lost loved ones. Will her undying love be enough to reunite Cassie with her husband and brother? Or will something more sinister emerge After The Dawn?

Review: Mitchel A. Jones directional endeavor is a testament to the fact you don’t require an over indulgent budget to create a masterpiece of a film. Although shot within an estimated boundary of thirteen thousand dollars, the thrifty expenditures did not hinder the entertainment value of this suspense drama one iota.

We’re instantly captivated by the beautiful, charismatic Cassie Becker (Nicole Kruex). In the present tense the viewer is invited into her personal trials and tribulations via an audio journal. Her dismay and desperation to survive in a post-apocalyptic realm resonates. An instant sense of empathy for our protagonist is achieved.

Some most effective cinematography is utilized throughout the barren Minnesota and Wisconsin landscape. A sensation of dark dread and unease is provoked as we the audience feel ourselves sliding into the confines of our living room surrogate comfort.

Our tale dabbles into exposition as we get to know the Becker family more intimately. Jones has a keen eye for depicting very real, interpersonal drama as a very shy and endearing Cassie frets over introducing her new flame Alan to her brother Jake.

The dialogue reigns true as we cannot help but sympathize with Cassie and Alan as he’s grilled and raked over the coals by over protective brother Jake.

Transcending to the present the tale unfolds season to season. Symbolism of each time frame is represented well from sorrow, withering to frigid, emotionally flat lined to rejuvenation and spark of new hope.

Cassie finds an abandoned boy Jake who reminds her of her brother of the same name. Instantly they bond as their journey to reunite strengthens in spades.

Without unveiling substantial plot spoilers, some notable scenes are found within the grocery store, coffee shop and movie theatre. Watch for a special cinematic homage of sorts that will surely render your spine tingling in delight.

After the Dawn focuses more on drama and character development which is what I truly adore about this picture. Jones and Kruex are a certifiable force to be reckoned with the future of horror.

While Mitchel directed and adapted cinematography detail, Nicole starred and edited this dark, foreboding drama. The two collaborated on the original story. An honorable mention goes out to Devlin Andersen for creating a monster of a musical score that will quite literally make you jump in your seats.

A definite pearl in a sea of over saturated apocalyptic tales is After The Dawn.

-Five out of five skulls.

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