I have to say The Night Eats the World is probably one of the best films I have watched in a very long time. I would describe this film as Richard Matheson meets George Romero. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this film is what I Am Legend should have been. I have not read the book that this film is based on, but if it is anything like the movie, call me interested.
The Night Eats The World starts with a musician visiting his ex at a party she is throwing to get his tapes back. But he ends up falling asleep in the small room searching for his tapes. In the morning, he is confused by the stillness of the apartment. He soon realizes that Paris has been overrun with zombies, with all of the party-goers killed or turned by the zombies. Seeing the bleakness of the streets of Paris, he does not seek out others, but instead barricades himself in the apartment building. The rest of the film follows his experience with dealing with the bleak situation he finds himself in and searching for supplies to survive. But is he really the only survivor left?
I won’t spoil the rest of the film, but it is a great examination of what happens to a person when they are surrounded by nothing but zombies. As you can imagine the isolation and lack of human contact get to him as it would with anyone. Not only are the zombies are a terrible threat, but how he will keep his sanity is a pressing issue for him. And unlike other horror films of this sub-genre, The Night Eats The World doesn’t have any stupid moments where you wonder why the character acted so rashly. You can understand his motivations, even if at times they seem suicidal and reckless.
There isn’t a great deal of music in The Night Eats the World but the constant hammering of fists on the doors to this building, add an ever-present sense of foreboding and dread that you are just waiting to come. They use a range of sound effects with great execution, to create a moody and grim atmosphere. This is further enhanced by the special effects crew efforts in his appearance, which reflects his waning hope, using makeup and clothing to demonstrate this.
The Night Eats the World is a bleak film to watch but it keeps you engaged. Though I did feel like it lulled a bit in the middle, but only for a brief period. Considering this character is the only thing you watch throughout the film, I think that’s pretty good going. I think we have to praise the acting of Anders Danielsen Lie for his fantastic portrayal. But don’t be mistaken, even though this is a zombie movie, it really is a character driven movie. If you are more interested in action zombie movies, you might find that it does not align with your tastes. I did not find it to be a slow film, but for fans of the most deadly zombie movies, you will find this to be a slow burn that would test your patience. But for the rest of the horror fans, you will appreciate The Night Eats the World’s new perspective on an overpacked sub-genre.
I found the ending to be spectacular, one that is filled with dread but also hope. As with most post apocalyptic films, the future is uncertain for our lonely protagonist, but I think it perfectly captures the essence of the story with its finale.
Watch The Night Eats The World, if you loved the book I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, but hated the latest film adaptation. You will not be disappointed by this foreign language film.