The Night Eats the World (La nuit a dévoré le monde)

You'll probably enjoy the French zombie film The Night Eats the World if post-apocalyptic sci-fi
like 28 Days Later and The Omega Man are your moviegoing answer to comfort food. Like
those earlier films, this paranoid fantasy gives filmgoers the vicarious thrill of watching a
resourceful loner -- in this case, American tourist Sam (Anders Danielsen Lie) -- wait out the
zombie apocalypse inside his Parisian ex-girlfriend's apartment.

Unfortunately, the best and worst thing about director Dominique Rocher and his two co-writers'
scenario is its familiarity. Sam does everything that everyone, from Vincent Price to Will
Smith, has already done to keep sane during an I Am Legend-style crisis. That includes sniping
at passing zombies (using a paintball gun) and pathetically declaiming about his fate: "Dead is
the new norm now; I'm the one who's not normal."

Still, if you don't get too hung up on the film's many contrivances -- particularly its uninspired
finale and any scene where Lie speaks -- you might find The Night Eats the World to be
sufficiently moody. That goes double whenever the film's atmosphere is mostly supplied by ambient noises, like the wet clicking of zombies' teeth inside their rotting mouths or the soft thumping of their distended arms as they smash against barred windows.

There are also a handful of tense zombie encounters, the best of which is the alternately
hilarious and terrifying scene where Sam tries to lure an easily distracted cat into his apartment.
If nothing else, Rocher's film successfully reaffirms two generic constants: Zombies are
terrifying and cats are really, really clueless.

Credits

Director:

  • Dominique Rocher

Cast:

  • Anders Danielsen Lie
  • Golshifteh Farahani
  • Denis Lavant

Writers:

  • Pit Agarmen
  • Jérémie Guez

Producer:

  • Carole Scotta

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