The Night Eats the World (org. title La nuit a dévoré le monde) is an absolutely brilliant French zombie movie. Screening at Fantasia 2018!
I don’t usually like to explain a movie by comparing it to other films. And yet, this is exactly what I’m about to do. Especially since many people tend to write off films when they’re not in English.
Well, The Night Eats the World is like Cast Away meets 28 Days Later. In every messed-up and brilliant way, you can imagine!
You can watch the trailer for The Night Eats the World right here or continue reading our review below.
Such a perfect title
The title of The Night Eats the World is eerily appropriate. And for once, the English title was directly translated from the French title La nuit a dévoré le monde.
Our lead character falls asleep at a party and when he wakes up, everyone seems to have been eaten. Or have become something that would like to eat him. As a result, he is now trapped in an apartment building in the middle of Paris. Well, at least the view is nice – as long as you don’t look down at the streets, anyway.
The lead role of Sam is portrayed by Norwegian actor Anders Danielsen Lie. And much like Cast Away was all about Tom Hanks, this movie can only work if Anders Danielsen Lie does. In The Night Eats the World he works wonders in every little scene.
Another movie I was reminded of was I Am Legend (which is a favorite of mine). However, the way in which I was reminded was due to Sam’s way of trying to create some sort of normalcy. While we see Will Smith having his routines in I Am Legend, the story of The Night Eats the World is very much about Sam getting to build his new life.
The power of sounds
More than just building a new life, we see Sam figuring out what triggers the hungry dead people in the street. Sound is clearly a big part of this.
However, Sam is also a musician, so he figures out ways to do both. And also how to use this, when it becomes relevant.
Another part of Sam’s new life is his “friend”. He was previously a resident of the building but is now trapped in an elevator. As such, he poses no threat and doesn’t seem as aggressive as the zombies in the street. But can he be trusted?
A huge part of what makes The Night Eats the World work is how sound is used. We’re so used to hearing life around us and feeling vibrations on everyday life. Whether the sounds are from birds singing, children screaming or a truck rumbling down the street. All of this is gone now.
This also means that even the tiniest sounds are noticed, which offers a whole new set of horrors.
Feature film debut based on a novel
The Night Eats the World was directed by Dominique Rocher and marks his feature film debut. Dominique Rocher also co-wrote the script with Jérémie Guez and Guillaume Lemans.
The screenplay was based on the novel by Pit Agarmen. I haven’t read the book, but it seems like one I should love, so it’s now on my “Goodreads”-list.
I fully acknowledge that The Night Eats the World is not for everyone since it’s a slow-burn. For me, this is what makes it feel realistic and relatable. You can’t help but wonder what you would do in Sam’s situation.
And let’s be honest; Haven’t all horror fans contemplated how they would act when the zombie apocalypse hits?! I know I have and after the movie, I even started thinking about how safe I would be in my own home – and how much food I have! Remember, I did say it was like Cast Away and Sam does look pretty dreadful towards the end.
Do not miss this one if you love the more “realistic” and relatable apocalypse movies!
The Night Eats the World will screen at Fantasia International Film Festival on July 13, 2018.
Director: Dominique Rocher
Cast: Anders Danielsen Lie, Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant
After falling asleep in a back room of his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, Sam wakes up to discover that the world – or at least Paris – has been overrun by a zombified populace. Barricading himself inside the building, he faces life as the sole survivor of the plague, gathering the supplies he can as the ghouls stagger and slaver outside. He can sustain his body, but can he sustain his mind as the days alone in a world gone to hell stretch out endlessly before him?