At a party to retrieve some of his personal belongings from his ex-girlfriend, Sam (Anders Danielsen Lie) is asked to wait in a room until she has time to find. Sam steps away from the party and after suffering a nosebleed, he sits down to wait for his ex and falls asleep. When he opens his eyes, it’s the next morning and the party has ended. As he leaves the room he’s been sleeping in, Sam notices that the apartment has been trashed and is covered in blood. He also soon discovers that everyone has been turned into zombies.
The Night Eats the World is an attempt to do something a little different with the zombie genre but it’s sadly a very hit-and-miss affair. Rather than fixating on the survival aspect of the story, which pretty much every zombie movie does, the film instead chooses follow Sam as he goes through the motions over a series of days. We see him working his way through the apartments in the building, moving the bodies of the dead and talking to a zombie trapped in the lift.
The film is very light on dialogue, mostly as Sam is pretty much the only person in it past the opening moments, so actor Danielsen Lie has to use his body and his facial expressions to convey how he’s feeling. Sam contemplates leaving the building but worries that he will get turned too. He’s also very aware that staying put will result in him running out of supplies so he finds himself between a rock and a hard place.
Visually the film looks good. Director Dominique Rocher has made a polished film and she really captures the eerie atmosphere of Paris occupied only by zombies. The bleak setting is brought to life impressively and the visual effects are great too. Rocher handles everything with subtlety and that sadly doesn’t always translate into thrilling viewing.
The Night Eats the World is frustrating and mostly just a bit boring. We never find anything out about Sam or his life prior to the outbreak so we don’t really care about him. The film is supposed to be an exploration of his psychological state in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse but it doesn’t delve deep enough. I Am Legend has shown that a character piece can be compelling set against an apocalypse but I didn’t feel The Night Eats the World ever gets out of first gear, save for a few tense sequences where Sam comes face-to-face with zombies.
Cast: Anders Danielsen Lie, Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant, Sigrid Bouaziz Director: Dominique Rocher Writers: Jérémie Guez, Guillaume Lemans and Dominique Rocher Certificate: TBC Duration: 93 mins Released by: Signature Entertainment
The Night Eats the World will receive a home entertainment release on August 27th, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.