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The Night Eats the World (2018)



The morning after a party, a young man wakes up to find Paris invaded by zombies.





Review

Based on the novel by Pit Agarmen, The Night Eats the World is a massive departure for the genre. This zombie horror film is neither a zombie film, traditionally, nor a horror film. Sam goes to his ex's apartment to retrieve his belongings after their apparent breakup and when he arrives she is in the middle of a party - his belongings are boxed in a back room. When he's in there, rummaging, he locks the door so as not to be disturbed, and after getting a nose bleed, falls asleep in a chair. He awakens to find the zombie apocalypse has happened overnight.

It's a perfect setup to allow Sam the alienation of being in a strange place, and after a while he has the run of the building. He's seems relatively happy with his existence, and the film plays out the drama of solitude, loneliness, and entrapment. It leads to a great sense of empathy for the character, played wonderfully by Anders Danielsen Lie (Personal Shopper).

Danielsen Lie is a charm to watch. He emotes with ease and has a natural innocence to him. Both a medical doctor and drummer in real life, the inclusion of these within the narrative is both clever, and adds to the realism.




Director Dominique Rocher (feature debut) does a wonderful job. There are some great choices on the screen, swinging the film from tear-jerking, to gut-wrenching. And it's all on a small budget, with nearly the entire film set in one locale.

The addition (or should that be removal?) of the traditional zombie moans and screams is also a big welcome. The zombies are mute, and runners. It makes them, actually, rather terrifying - along with: they are attracted to sound, and not apparently smell, and when they haven't got a target they tend to just stand there.

But.

This isn't a zombie film. There aren't elongated scenes of disembowelment, zombies getting their heads blown off, or brrrraaaiiinnssssss. This is a film about one man, alone, and his decisions on survival.

It's engrossing and captivating, touching, heart-warming, and even devastating. It's easy to overlook films like this because of the over-saturation of the genre - but this really is a must watch. It's by far one of the best zombie films to be released in recent years.

Oh, and there is a little disembowelment.





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