THE SURVIVALIST (2021) Reviews of post-pandemic thriller

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The Survivalist is a 2021 American thriller set a year and a half after the fall of civilisation from a viral outbreak.

Directed by Jon Keeyes (Rogue Hostage; The Harrowing; Element; Phobia; Doom Room) from a screenplay written by Matthew Rogers, the movie stars John Malkovich (Ava; Velvet Buzzsaw; Bird Box; Shadow of the Vampire) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (American Night; Awake; Dracula TV series). It was produced by Keeyes, Jordan Yale Levine and Jordon Beckerman under their Yale Productions banner.

“We’re thrilled and honoured to be working with screen legends John Malkovich and Jonathan Rhys Meyers on The Survivalist, an exhilarating, timely and action-packed feature film with stellar performances.” Levine and Beckerman stated.


In a post-pandemic world, former FBI agent, Ben (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), is forced to protect a young woman who is immune to the disease from a dangerous gang hunting her. The gang is led by Aaron (John Malkovich), a psychopath who believes he’s going to use her to save the world…


“Everything on offer here is okay – there’s nothing particularly dodgy about the script, for the most part, the violence and action are decent and Ben’s character is fairly well developed at least – but this needed a lot more to make it memorable. The done to death subject matter of a global disaster didn’t exactly help either.” CineChat

“I enjoyed the staging of the shootout, the hand to hand confrontations between Meyers and Malkovich’s goon squad, and I really enjoyed how the director acknowledges the scarcity of supplies, specifically ammunition to create a sort of ticking clock based on how little each side has left to fight with. As an action movie and because John Malkovich is a wonderfully entertaining villain, I recommend you check out The Survivalist…” Geeks Media

“To take a current, ongoing, unprecedented global health crisis, and to exploit it in a cynical attempt to lend gravitas to a humdrum low-budget action thriller (light on action and decidedly not thrilling) is nothing short of tacky […] At worst, The Survivalist is callous and careless. At best, the dialogue will deliver a few unintentional giggles. However, for the most part, it’s merely tastelessly dull.” The Upcoming

“As expected, Malkovich only has a handful of scenes mostly at the beginning and of the film. Maybe more surprising, Ruby, daughter of Matthew, Modine is barely in the film either […] While it’s not the worst end of the world film out there, The Survivalist still isn’t good enough to give a thumbs up. There’s not enough action to fight off boredom, and the flashbacks aren’t dramatic enough to hold anyone’s attention.” Voices from the Balcony


The Survivalist was released by Quiver Distribution theatrically and On-Demand on October 1, 2021. Blu-ray and DVD releases follow on October 19, 2021.


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