By Dave B.
In The Night Eats the World (2018, currently on Amazon Prime) Sam, a young introverted musician, unwillingly attends a party in a Paris apartment. After passing out in a secluded back room, he wakes to find the apartment a bloody shambles. As he opens the front door to leave, he’s attacked by some of the former partygoers who are covered in blood and appear crazed. Sam quickly realizes that the zombie apocalypse has occurred while he slept and springs into action securing the building and gathering supplies for himself. But isolation begins to take its toll on him and his decision-making becomes increasingly erratic. Sam must find a way out of his fortress, before his mind proves a more dangerous foe to him than the hordes of undead Parisians that infest the streets of the City of Lights.
Oddly enough, the most fun and interesting parts of The Night Eats the World are when Sam preparing for his long-term survival. The way that he methodically secures the building and searches it for supplies are surprisingly entertaining. Sam is highly intelligent and a survivor. There are none of those stereotypically foolish movie decisions from him, at least initially. Overall, he’s not necessarily an extremely likable character, but he’s easy to empathize with and definitely someone that you would want to add to your Zombie Apocalypse Survival Team. The first half of the movie moves along at a brisk pace, peppered with the occasional jump-scare, and lots and lots of prepping.
The second half of The Night Eats the World is…less enjoyable in some respects. The movie doesn’t exactly diminish in quality. In fact, it probably becomes more artistic and thoughtful. But Sam’s competence erodes under the weight of his isolation and the pleasure of seeing someone succeed under impossible circumstances is overtaken by a morbid curiosity about how far he will fall. There’s entertainment value in that, but not really of the fun variety. It makes the second half of the 93 minute film feel twice as long as the first half, which is a disconcerting feeling that adds to the film’s stark emotional shift. And frankly, I disliked the overly ambiguous, “European-style” ending.
The Night Eats the World is a good addition to the world of zombies and is a good movie, in and of itself, regardless of whether or not it contains the undead. I definitely recommend it. But a “feel good” movie, it is not. It’s one of those movies where most viewers will need to be in the right mood to fully appreciate the way that it plays with their emotions. The fact that it’s conclusion is open to interpretation will also turn off some viewers who are more in the mood for solidity than for supposition. Overall, if you’re a fan of psychological horror, competent survival skills, and/or zombies, you should definitely give The Night Eats the World some of your time.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.