A zombie story set in Paris, so zombies and romance...not really.
- The Night Eats the World review by DS
It is often said the Shaun of the Dead was a love-letter to George Romero well Night Eats the World is easily a big soppy love-letter to 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead (remake), and various other Usain Bolt zombie horror stories, there is even a small tribute to my favourite zombie ever, Bub, playing a fairly central part in the story. This is not to say it is a bad thing but if you a familiar with the trope, I feel many viewers will be, then you'll recognise scenarios, frights and the basic premise. Again this is not a bad thing but it does lead to a game of 'oh I saw that in' or 'they did that better/worse in this film'.
Casting aside the who, whats and whys, which all good zombie films should do, and getting to the action and set-up of the story whilst cleverly foreshadowing the coming events starts the film on a good footing and the whilst we are in plus terrioritory the makers then say 'What would an ordinary person, with no real survival skills (nearly all of us) do?' and they try to answer it sensibly too. Sam is no genius, he's clever enough to know that the scabby bloody messes are no longer his friends and neighbours and want to kil him and he is smart enough to know that if he can lock them out of the apartment block he'll be reasonably safe. He is stupid enough to try and get a cat from outside though - I wonder what stupid thing I'd do if I managed to survive (which I would not)?
Norwegian actor Anders Danielsen Lie plays Sam releastically and you believe from his reactions and the way he behaves this event has really happened. How he occupies the huge amounts of time he has is cleverly answered and is a question that no one asks in these type of films. After all if you make yourself safe and secure that is exactly what you'd do, stay save and secure, so many films end up with the protagonists doing ludicrous things that lead to disaster. Not Sam, he'll stay safe, make avant garde art music, listen to tapes, respectfully lay victims to rest, because he's a decent human not a monster that all survivors turn into immediately in US films, and like all of us, start to hear things and let his imagination carry him away.
The buckets on the roof are straight out of 28 Days Later but why not, it worked in that film and works for this story too. The zombies are very much World War Z, Dawn of the Dead (remake) and although I don't like sprinters, they make no sense at all for reasons I cannot be bothered to go into here, but to make them silent was a stroke of geninus.
I must mention the arrival of Denis Levant who now is my favourite zombie, trapped in the lift he cannot get to Sam so Sam uses him as companion sitting and talking to him. I will not spoil how that ends but it truly is original in its own way and definitely not what I was expecting.
The arrival of Golshifteh Farahani signals the end of the section of the story we would guess we were stuck in and takes Sam in a new direction and the twist to this part, whilst not original, was well played and actually made perfect sense due to what lead to it.
Night Eats the World tries to take a tried and frankly worn-out genre and give it some new clothes. It does not quite manage this as well as 'The Battery' which I recommend but it comes close. There are too many, seen it before moments, but the acting and real menace of the undead and the situation and how it is dealt with do give it a good spring cleaning at least.
All in all a better zombie movie - and considering the vast libaries of DVDs dedicated to this horror-trope most of which should really be forgotten about that is praise indeed. Would I go out of my way to watch it again? Probably not but if it was on TV and flicked onto it, I would flick to the next channel.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.