For some reason in today’s horror community, the zombie sub-genre seems to be the overwhelming favorite. It’s surprising to see the staying power of this sub-genre over the last decade. I love a good zombie movie don’t get me wrong, but it just seems like they are everywhere. With dime a dozens littering the digital movie shelves. Is the zombie film due to die away into obscurity in the near future? The film I’m talking about today makes a strong case against this idea. So as always, I prepped my ritualistic screener routine with some popcorn, an ice cold adult beverage and dimmed the lights.
The Night Eats the World (2018)
It’s late at night in Paris, France and a raging party is frothing with libation and dancing. A young musician Sam, is drunk. Swaying incoherently through the crowded mass of less intoxicated youths. Partied out, Sam soon meanders to an empty room and passes out. The next morning, an incredibly hungover Sam stumbles out of the room and is not ready for what he sees. Blood-smeared walls and dead bodies litter the hallways and stairwells of the apartment. It seems Sam has just woken up to a zombie apocalypse.
What happens next isn’t your average action-packed and gory zombie romp. Based off of Pit Agarmen’s novel of the same name, first time feature film director Dominque Rocher brings us up close and personal to one man’s harrowing journey of survival. Following Sam as he ransacks the remaining apartments for food, water and medical supplies. With his inventory set, he barricades himself into an empty apartment. All is quiet for weeks on end until suddenly a stranger shows up, Sarah played by Golshifteh Farahani (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales). Together they begin a friendship filled with hope during these dark times.
The character of Sam was expertly portrayed by Norwegian actor Anders Danielson Lie (Hidden). With little to no dialogue throughout, I was reminded of Vincent Price’s performance in The Last Man on Earth (1964) or Will Smiths’ in I am Legend (2007), which both happen to be adaptations of Richard Matheson’s I am Legend. Showing how utter isolation can take its toll on not just the body but the mind as well. Danielson Lie’s ability to perform to no one else but the camera was quite riveting.
The Nights Eats the World is a compelling slow burn that realistically shows what the average joe would do during a zombie apocalypse if left to his own devices. It was a refreshing take to the sub-genre. A true labor of love to the zombie mythos. I was also mindful of the political rhetoric throughout this dark and desolate landscape. A bleak overture of how most of us are well and truly on our own in this world. Even during a zombie outbreak.
This film really surprised me, but at the same time I felt like I have seen this story many times before. So, it just goes to show, that sometimes an age-old idea when given fresh ideas and views can make something great again. Even though the zombies have been done to death, The Night Eats the World gives me hope that the sub-genre can still live on, albeit undead…
Now if we can just get The Walking Dead cancelled already. . . . .
Out on VOD now!!!!!