Class of ’07

Class of ’07

When a flood isolates a 10-year-old mountaintop school reunion, the young women of Ridge Heights Catholic Ladies are facing Armageddon – what to say?

Yes. Australia doesn’t do too many top-rated shows, let alone dark comedy, but Prime Video is new Class of ’07 takes a leap into the unknown.

At the center of this bizarre universe is Zoe (Emily Browning), who has just gone viral after her botched appearance on a TV date ended in humiliation. But trying to fade out of sight on a solo rural retreat, her gap year is interrupted by a bizarre weather phenomenon.

When Zoe flees to a nearby evacuation point at her former school, she stumbles upon a 10-year reunion in progress with her former classmates. What are the odds?

Among this group of mostly Mean Girls are Amelia (Megan Smart), a former best friend with whom she has unresolved affairs, Saskia (Caitlin Stasey), a self-made start-up entrepreneur, Renee (Emma Horn ) who is faking her success story self-centered US expat Dr. Sandy (Sarah Krndija) and Phoebe (Steph Tisdell) who is tied to her own deadlines and the stock market.

Bernie Van Tiel and Chi Nguyen also appear as double-action watchers determined to “kill the whores”.

Zoe’s arrival coincides with an apocalyptic moment in which the school – and the horizon – are flooded and isolated. It is as if the world as they know it has submerged leaving them as the sole survivors.

Whatever the metaphor, this crowd of directionless remnants are forced to rally beyond ego and baggage in order to survive. This is a theme heavily addressed through storytelling, from Lord of the Flies TO Lost and beyond.

Writer/director/producer Kacie Anning serves her point of view through the experiences of the exasperated and misunderstood Zoe, heavily judged by her peers as she tries to reconnect with Amelia. And it’s a shit show for her.

Most everyone is out for their own interests, as if still acting like naughty schoolgirls, despite the 10 years of supposed growth. Do we all get worse as we get older? Indeed, among the unexplainable is hysteria and bullying and selfish behavior – I guess anything is possible at the end of civilization. Zoe also has a habit of frantically talking to herself, probably to provide the necessary backstory.

In the midst of such craze it’s refreshing when the story changes pace with Caitlin Stasey’s stillness or Megan Smart’s drama. I found that these served as the island’s respite, somewhat like the surviving landmass itself.

Stranded in this strange kind of disaster, there are no males to the rescue, which is an admirable approach on Anning’s part. However, the biggest challenge may have to do with the likability of the main characters. It could be a reunion from hell, but I’ve struggled to care enough about these survivors to want to see how their existence turns out, which is a shame when the concept is so bold. Right point, they’re probably not your target audience for that matter.

Special mention goes to Anousha Zarkesh for casting dead teenage actors for flashback scenes and cinematographer Bruce Young for creating the world of college goth that survived.

Matchbox Pictures is right to shoot the stars with wild concepts like Class of ’07. Be glad it’s Zoe’s world imploding and not yours.

Class of ’07 airs Friday on Prime Video.