QCFF Review: 'The Night Eats the World' Breathes New Life into the Zombie Genre

Directed by Dominique Rocher

Starring Anders Danielsen Lie, Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant, Sigrid Bouaziz, David Kammenos

BY Alex HudsonPublished Sep 19, 2018

Talk about a shitty hangover. Sam (Anders Danielsen Lie) passes out after an altercation a party at his ex-girlfriend's apartment in Paris, and once he wakes up, the city has been taken over by a zombie apocalypse. With everyone else dead (or undead), he must barricade himself inside and scrounge together whatever scraps of food he can find.

These days, the mere notion of a zombie apocalypse feels more like a cute meme than the basis for a scary movie, but La Nuit a dévoré le monde (The Night Eats the World) is only partly a zombie movie. More than anything, it's about maintaining the will to live while in complete, hopeless isolation.

It's fascinating to watch the small ways in which Sam keeps himself entertained and builds himself a tiny life within the claustrophobic confines of the apartment building. He makes music using graters and bottles, jogs laps through the rooms, and plays drums despite the noise attracting the attention of the zombies outside. He devises a rudimentary system for catching rainwater, and even warms himself a bath in what appears to be an upended refrigerator.

Mostly, his mental state deteriorates and he becomes increasingly unhinged and desperate. The tastefully spooky score from David Gubitsch adds a mournful note to Sam's lonely struggles.

He craves human contact, and there's a poignant sequence involving another survivor named Sarah (Golshifteh Farahani). Mostly, though, this is a solo journey with barely any dialogue, and there's only a zombie named Alfred trapped in the elevator to keep him company. Zombies might not be all that scary, but being trapped with your own thoughts is terrifying. (Haut et Court)

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