With things off to a ropy start, Blackout picks up well in the later stages, delivering a surprisingly enjoyable feature overall. The Blackout starts off with good intentions and has a decent post-apocalyptic feel to it but it’s just let down by generic execution. Coupled with the power cuts, there is a higher story arc playing out behind the mayhem in this apartment block and it’s an arc which makes everything seem more futile. The television movie walks through the motions of different individuals, groups and families surviving the eleven day long ordeal of a nation deprived of infrastructure due to a loss of power. The father of Hank Jr is an emergency prepper, someone who spends time and money preparing for emergency situations in case the worst comes to pass, and along with Hank Jr, his sister, mother and the sister’s boyfriend they go to a compound meant for sitting out the blackout until power returns.
Where the movie fails is that it feels more like a shock and awe piece set up for scare tactics to express the importance of preparing for disasters with not much in terms of real data to explain the why and how of things. Keep away from attempts to move in the dark responders and understanding what protective measures posts Freeze.


Despite Woodwood’s first impressions, he truly shines when capturing the sheer panic that his character is in, yet at the same time remaining practical, human and not running around in a hysterical ‘horror movie’ fashion. The Blackout has some glaring problems, not least by having too many characters in the film. The movie bounces back and forth between these main stories, news reports as events unfold, individual people making passing comments about their experience and vague text stating facts relevant to the story at large.
Molly, the daughter of a married couple that is expecting a son, is recording the hospital visits and birth of the new boy during the whole of the blackout. As a movie it is recommended for its ability to engage and draw on a possible event to give thrills and chills but as something to base a well thought response to such an event it would be wiser to seek out more informative data and work up to a proper response from there.
You would be forgiven if, based on the cover of Blackout, you thought you were getting something other than intentional camp. Following the standard template of ‘people trapped in a confined space with monster(s) loose’ to a tee, The Blackout isn’t going to win any awards for originality.


American Blackout is a 2013 dramatic documentary illustrating what might happen in the event of the majority of America’s power grid being compromised or shut down as a result of cyber-terrorism.
Gemma, a woman in New York living with her boyfriend through the blackout, is panicky and understands little to nothing of events while her boyfriend argues, fights and injures himself to keep the two alive. The plot holds up well enough as the whole movie is meant to be a cautionary tale of how something like this is possible and that response might vary, so being prepared for the worst in some fashion isn’t unreasonable even if events only last at the same extreme as long as two weeks time. Probably worth a watch for hardcore monster movie enthusiasts but for anyone else, there are far better examples out there. In broad strokes, American Blackout is a piece of non-fiction establishing how some American citizens with cameras and devices would respond to and record events around them if all their electricity was taken away from them.



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