M.L. Miller here! As I go into my tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Seven of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2017 and going through September 30, 2018. I have posted Best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. 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, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on July 13, 2018. Available on Blu-ray/DVD, On Demand, and digital download! Also streaming on Netflix!
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 heart wrenching 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 more original zombie films.
THE 2017-2018 COUNTDOWN!
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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