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Tribeca 2018 Review: “The Night Eats the World” (2018) ★★★★


There is nothing bad in learning about the world we knew has changed overnight, if those changes are for good. But what if something unthinkable, outrageous and beyond our understanding occurs when all the living turn into undead all of a sudden? Well, in that case it is time to run away… But there is one problem, there is no place or sanctuary to look for, unless, we know its whereabouts…

“The Night Eats The World” follows Sam, a very talented and unconventional musician who after the party night wakes up and finds the Paris he knew no longer exists. No news, no living people, only zombies that eat anything they find alive. Realizing that he can’t go further than his apartment, the man expands his territory by moving down from one floor to another until he befriends Alfred, his ex-neighbour and now a zombie who he locks in an elevator.

In the opening scene, if you have not read Pit Agarmen’s novel or synopsis of this film, there is not even a slight indication that the next scene will be as catastrophic. Sam rushes to the party where he asks Fanny about his tapes. When more or less he gets his answer, drunk and tired he reaches his home to fall into deep sleep. During that moment, something strange happens when Sam believes it was just a nightmare. When he approaches the door to open it, he finds Fanny injured but as soon as he asks if she is doing fine, the poor woman is attacked by a random zombie. Fearing for his life, he quickly closes the door to barricade himself inside of his apartment.

But when he goes to the balcony and begins looking around, the image he sees terrifies him to the core. Everything, from that moment on, turns into a matter of survival from one day to the other. Since he finally has lots of time for creativity, Sam begins writing a beautiful score and in-between talks to his zombie friend Alfred, who genuinely listens to him, is exceptionally friendly with a funny look on his face as if he is trying to say something. But the lucky day will come soon when Sarah, a stranger will come to his home for help she will never find.

Dominique Rocher’s piece is one of those most apocalyptic horror movies that will require the viewer’s one hundred and one percent of the attention. If there is even a little distraction in between, certain details can be missed changing the whole point of narrative this film is about. Interestingly though, even though the viewer might expect some kind of happy ending, the film never aims to do so, rather test the viewer’s patience and the ability to see the entire plot through. For instance, when Sarah, portrayed by exceptionally gifted Golshifteh Farahani, appears before Sam’s door, the viewer must get ready for the most important part of the film to ensure not even a single word or gesture is missed.

Another interesting idea the film has, but I guess, in the book itself has never goes further to describe, why Alfred’s aggression towards Sam decreases significantly. He becomes a good listener and someone who would help Sam to stay in the right state of mind, focused and concentrated. It would be amazing, of course, but that would be a different film to see whether if Alfred would slowly become more human than zombie. But that part for someone who would like to know more about Alfred’s fate will remain unknown.

Overall, “The Night Eats The World” is a surprisingly decent horror movie that delivers that frightening reality not on the level of the movie itself, but rather the world when it might find itself one day in the same condition. And in case someone survives, it’s hard to put ourselves in Sam’s shoes, and trust me, nobody wants to experience what he will have to go through over the course of the movie which was captivating and even engaging.

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