Lewis Leslie’s ‘Strange Company’ (2021) A Strange Hallucinogenic Tale Of The End Of The World – Movie Review

A few months ago, I happened to stumble on the trailer for a movie called Strange Company. It seemed to have been filmed in or around 2018 but hadn’t been released yet. I was intrigued and hopeful but not expecting much since it had been so long since the initial filming. Then, all of a sudden, the film popped up in my Inbox with very little fanfare. But when I saw that title, I got so excited! Was Strange Company worth the wait?

Synopsis:

After the apocalypse, a grieving recluse is visited by a desperate woman who draws him out of his home and forces him to confront his inner turmoil.

Strange Company was written and directed by Lewis Leslie (Killer Ink 2016) and stars Circus of the Dead’s Bill Oberst, Jr. (read our most recent interview with him here), stuntman Andrew J. Katers (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan TV series), Amira Lee Counts (Shadowblood: Reckoning 2015), Kendra Buck (Justice League: Dawn Of The Apokolips 2017), and Lily Clibon.

Bill Oberst Jr, Andrew J Katers, Strange Company
Bill Oberst, Jr. and Andrew J. Katers in ‘Strange Company’

What Works

As the credits rolled on the end of Strange Company, I realized that I am completely enamored with this film. Thinking back to all of these things that seemed so strange at first, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it wrapped itself up in a neat, hallucinogenic bow. Little clues like the storyline being out of order or the fact that everything they drink—even alcohol— looks like plain water mean so much more now. I love the connection between Mya (Clibon) and Candace (Buck), both physical and emotional, as well as the random appearances of Flynn (Oberst, Jr.) and his pocket watch. Bit by bit, the story comes together, and as soon as you think you have it all figured out, the very last soundbite before the closing credits throws a wrench in the whole thing. But that’s okay, because it deepens the story and opens up even more ways to think about it. I want to watch the film again just so I can see it with this new understanding.

Cole (Katers) and Sasha (Counts) have good chemistry together. It is interesting to see them get closer as they get to know each other. Believing that they are the last people on earth, they realize what’s at stake here, despite the hallucinations they both keep having keeping them from ever being fully centered. This idea begs the question: if you thought you were the last person on earth, would you stay where you were with all amenities included or venture out and try to find others?

Last but not least, I noticed a small drawing of Donnie Darko’s Frank the Rabbit. Who doesn’t love random Easter eggs like that?

Amira Lee Counts, Strange Company
Amira Lee Counts in ‘Strange Company’

What Doesn’t Work

Although I know (or I think I know) what happens to Cole and Sasha in Strange Company, watching the film can be pretty confusing. This isn’t really a bad thing, but it did make me feel a bit like the editing had been too tight and a lot of the story had been left out. Now I know this is not true, but experiencing itself left me scratching my head quite a bit. The acting is a bit wooden, but that may have been intended. The dialogue can also be a bit awkward sometimes as well.

The background sounds went in and out in between shots, which was a little jarring, but it doesn’t detract from the story at all. Some may feel that the film is too slow. There are no action scenes to speak of and most of it is dialogue centered. But pay attention, because it’s worth the ride.

Amira Lee Counts, Andrew J. Katers, Strange Company
Amira Lee Counts and Andrew J. Katers in ‘Strange Company’

Final Thoughts

Strange Company is a surreal mind twist of a film. I love how it wrapped up in the end, tying everything together. This is my favorite film of the year so far, and I’ve seen a lot of films. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Strange Company when it becomes available. You won’t regret it.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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