A terrifying storm sets the events of Karen Cinorre’s Mayday into motion after a short circuit occurs at Ana’s (Grace Van Patten) workplace, transporting her into an alternate world where she meets a group of women soldiers in the middle of a war.

It seems reminiscent of the wardrobe in Narnia as Ana opens the door to an oven, revealing a glowing yellow light that draws her ever closer. Despite the fantastical nature, it’s clear that this is no fairytale and that trouble lurks just around the corner. The stunning cinematography highlights the sun-kissed shores and crashing waves of this new world which serves as a deception, a mask pulled over to hide a monstrous face.

The symbolism in this film is clear: the war that’s being fought in Mayday represents the battles these people have faced and lost. The women that Ana befriend show a misguided attempt to reach catharsis through revenge, where each call for help is instead a reclaiming of the power that was taken from them in the real world – a difficult aspect of this film that’s hard to get on board with, even if it’s only there to be subverted.

This is a very well-done film, but it’s potential to be even greater feels wasted. The negative aspect about Mayday that stands out the most is the lack of characterisation. Patten, Goth, Liu and Soko really deliver with what they’re given, but with such talent at the centre of this film, it’s unfortunate that it refuses to explore their characters in a deeper way.

The theme of death clouds Mayday but this is not really a film about death, but the will to live. It teaches us a brutal, but necessary lesson: there’s no easy escape from your troubles, and the hardest battle to face is one where you may not win, but simply survive.



CAST: Grace Van Patten, Mia Goth, Havana Rose Liu, Soko, Théodore Pellerin, Juliette Lewis

DIRECTOR: Karen Cinorre

WRITER: Karen Cinorre

SYNOPSIS: A short circuit at Ana’s workplace mysteriously transports her to an alternate world.