Running Time: 1hr 33min
Release Date: July 13, 2018 (Fantasia Fest)
Written by: Pit Agarmen (novel), Jeremie Guez, Guillaume Lemans, Dominique Rocher
Directed by: Dominique Rocher
Review by: Stacey
I'm not going to lie, I went into this one already a little apprehensive because I feel like I've been burned out on zombie flicks for quite some time now and figured I was going to be given another variation of the same tired old story that we've seen too many times. Well, while I was surprised to find that The Night Eats The World wasn't just another rehashed zombie flick, I ended up wishing it had been...
The story follows Sam (Anders Danielsen Lie) one night as he shows up to his ex girlfriend's place to pick up a few things he had left behind. After walking in and finding a wild party going on, he retreats to a quiet room and falls asleep. Morning comes and Sam wakes up to find a blood-spattered apartment and everyone has seemingly turned into zombies. Now Sam must figure out how to go on living in this new world he woke up to.
Night decided to stray from your typical zombie tropes and gave us something much more different. Instead of filling the scenes with tons of blood and gore, we're taken along with Sam as he tries to settle in the Parisian apartment without running into any zombies. It's about as mundane as it sounds, with scenes of Sam going from apartment to apartment stocking up on supplies, playing music, listening to tapes, even trying to lure a cat inside as a companion. Hell, the guy never even really left the building; I found myself longing for the typical scenes of people running from place to place in search of safety while zombies are hot on their heels.
Eventually we're introduced to Sarah (Golshifteh Farahani) who becomes friends with Sam and...there's more scenes of them doing mundane shit. Fortunately, there was a surprising twist that wasn't super original but definitely welcome in a movie that seemed to just move along with no real stuff happening.
I never even felt any closeness with the main character so his mortality was almost of no concern to me as the film went on. Night never managed to deep dive into his personal psyche as well as never explained what the hell happened overnight that made everyone turn into flesh-eating zombies.
There were a couple of amusing scenes when Sam would have cigar-smoking hangouts with a zombie trapped in the elevator (played by Denis Lavant) that were the only ones I found pretty entertaining. Maybe there needs to be a buddy/buddy zombie/human sequel.
The Night Eats The World wasn't ALL bad, I have to admit. The zombies weren't terribly done- the fact that when they weren't chasing someone, they would stand in place and made almost zero noise could have made for some pretty suspenseful scenes if done right. The movie itself had pretty minimal dialogue and maintained a general quietness about it that was appreciated and different.
The zombies take a backseat to the story when they should have had more of a presence, especially if you're going to market yourself like a straight zombie movie (which the trailer definitely did). What it comes down to is that The Night Eats The World doesn't follow any typical zombie formula that we're used to but in doing so doesn't make a movie that is going to leave much of a lasting impression on anyone.
Check out the trailer below!