How did I compile this list? There’s no real method to my special brand of madness. I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2017 and September 30, 2018 and worked and reworked the list until I had 31. This countdown is not for the elitists or festival goers, so if the film hasn’t been released to the masses, it won’t be on the list. Also anything released in October will most likely be on next year’s list—so sorry, no films like HALLOWEEN or SUSPIRIA just yet. I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web. I’ll also provide a second film suggestion in a separate post that is worth noting this year or missed being on the list by a skosh for those who can’t get enough horror.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
#19 THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD
Why is THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD #19? It’s hard coming up with an original zombie movie these days, but THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD manages to do it. With a unique setting and an equally unique lead character, this film is a surprising and refreshing take on well tread ground. I didn’t want this film to end, as I was completely entertained from start to finish. I get into the reasons why below in my review. You can find THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD on iTunes and Amazon!
THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD (2018)
Directed by Dominique Rocher
Written by Pit Agarmen (novel), Jérémie Guez, Dominique Rocher, Guillaume Lemans (screenplay)
Starring Anders Danielsen Lie, Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant, Sigrid Bouaziz, David Kammenos
So the usual zombie apocalypse situation is that there’s the outbreak, a bunch of survivors get together in a “safe” place, and while the zombies outside threaten to get in, the humans inside tear themselves apart. There really isn’t a zombie film, comic book, or TV series that doesn’t follow that format…except for this one. THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD is a bold new direction for zombie films and really does deliver on a compelling, surprising, and heartwrenching story.
Anders Danielsen Lie plays Sam, a musician and loner who goes to his ex-girlfriend’s place to pick up the last of his things. Unfortunately, she is having a party and to get away from all of the commotion, Sam heads to a back room of the loft and tries to gather his things and get out of there with the promise that his girlfriend will be back in a second to talk. Sam wakes the next morning to silence and an empty apartment. To his surprise, it seems the zombie apocalypse occurred and Sam slept through it. With scores of zombies wandering the streets below, Sam holes up in the apartment, clearing out one floor after another, and surviving all by himself with only a zombie trapped in an elevator as a companion. But how long can Sam survive on his own before the zombies break in or Sam’s mind breaks itself? That is the question that is central to this one.
Much like CASTAWAY, this film sets up a one man show situation where there isn’t a second where the film doesn’t follow the stranded protagonist. There is no search for the meaning behind the zombie plague. No cause is given and very little occurs outside of the apartment Sam is trapped in. Somehow, though, director Dominique Rocher gives us a lot to learn about Sam and actor Anders Danielsen Lie (who is also in Paul Greengrass’ 22 JULY on Netflix) makes the whole journey an enjoyable one. We follow Sam as he plays his music, forages for foods from floor to floor, and occasionally running into the undead. At first, Sam seems quite content with being alone. It seems he is built for this kind of solitude, but Lie and Rocher make Sam’s descent into madness slow and subtle without offering up a boring beat.
The zombies wandering about aren’t anything particularly special to look at. The makeup is solid. The one cool thing about them is how silent they are and how terrifying it is to not be able to hear them until they are right on top of you. It makes for more than one terrifiying scene of zombie mayhem.
THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD is for zombie-philes who are sick of seeing the same film over and over again. This is most likely what I would do in a zombie apocalypse. Though the solitude might drive me a bit bonkers, as it does Sam. Fantastic direction, some truly scary zombies, and a powerful performance by Lie make THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD one of the most original zombie films I’ve seen in years.
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#31 – Sam Patton’s DESOLATION
#30 – CULT OF CHUCKY
#29 – 1922
#28 – PSYCHOPATHS
#27 – GHOST STORIES
#26 – PYEWACKET
#25 – DOWNRANGE
#24 – MAYHEM
#23 – COLD SKIN
#22 – THELMA
#21 – THE BABYSITTER
#20 – TONIGHT SHE COMES
#19 – THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD
Best of lists from previous years;
2016-17 #1 – RAW
2015-16 #1 – THE VVITCH
2014-15 #1 – THE CANAL
2013-14 #1 – PROXY
2012-13 #1 – MANIAC
2012 #1 – THE WOMAN
2011 #1 – THE LAST CIRCUS
M. L. Miller is an original AICN @$$Hole formerly known as Ambush Bug/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
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Don’t forget to share and like and finally, Happy Horror Holiday Month to Everyone!
Just watched this last night. Absolutely loved it. I very much prefer the silent zombies (also used in the 2010 African zombie film The Dead) to the growling, snarling creatures of most films.