Title – The Night Eats the World (2018)
Director – Dominique Rocher (feature debut)
Cast – Anders Danielsen Lie, Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant, Sigrid Bouaziz
Plot – In the city of Paris, Sam (Danielsen Lie) wakes after a night of partying to find a zombie apocalypse has overrun the city meaning he must take shelter in the apartment complex he finds himself in.
“You think there’s a cure?”
Review by Eddie on 12/06/2019
Just when you think the zombie genre has chewed it can and exhausted all known narrative possibilities, along comes a film like low-budget offering The Night Eats the World.
This French horror/thriller directed by debut feature filmmaker Dominique Rocher sees 22 July actor Anders Danielsen Lie’s Sam trapped in a French apartment complex after a night of partying, with nothing more than some bloodthirsty zombies as company, thus setting forth a plot line of survival and battle of the wills as Sam must learn to live within his new confines.
Those seeking a 28 Days Later/Dawn of the Dead like zombie rush should certainly look elsewhere (even if there is a nice throwback here to Dawn in a paintball scene) as Rocher’s film is the very definition of a slow burn, focusing more on Sam’s quest to stay alive and sane instead of on zombie carnage, with the zombies here also eerily silent compared to their many counterparts.
It’s a nice ploy by Rocher and one that works well for World early on as we get caught up in this confusing new space but as the run-time wears on, the early novelty and success of the film begins to wear thin as Sam remains someone we can root for without ever fully committing to with such basic character depth, while Rocher struggles to maintain the beginning tension over 90 plus minutes as the mundanity of Sam’s daily existence locked in an apartment takes full effect.
You keep waiting for a big moment to arise, a genuine surprise or game changer to take the film by the scruff of the neck but it sadly never comes, leaving far too much for Danielsen Lie to do as the sole presence through the majority of the film.
The Norwegian actor gives it his all here, emotionally and physically, transforming into the mind, body and spirit of a desperate man surviving in an even more desperate situation but despite his good efforts, our time with Sam does begin to grow tiresome as he day consists of collecting water, playing music and trying to usher in stray cats to his apartment, it’s not the ideal material for cinematic goodness and a weight on the film that starts out so promising with its expertly designed mood and atmosphere at first instantly gripping.
Final Say –
A different take on the zombie apocalypse, filled with initial promise but increasingly dwindling returns as the run-time wears on, The Night Eats the World is a solid independent offering but one that feels like it could’ve been more memorable had it developed a more sound narrative hook and more well-rounded main character.
3 paintball guns out of 5