Zombies have become big business over the last couple of decades. They seem to have seeped into every nook and cranny of popular culture. Whilst the success of The Walking Dead is possibly partly to blame, that doesn’t really explain the sudden proliferation of films since the turn of the century. The likes of (the) Resident Evil (franchise), Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Train to Busan and the Dawn of the Dead (remake) have all been hits. Just when it seems like every imaginable aspect of the sub-genre has been well and truly exhausted, The Night Eats the World arrives to explore a well-travelled path in a rather unique way.
Sam (Anders Danielsen Lie) arrives at the apartment of his ex- girlfriend to collect his stuff. He’s less than impressed to discover a party in full swing and whilst hiding away to escape the throng, falls asleep. When he awakes, he finds himself inside a nightmare. A plague of zombies has decimated the party-goers and the world outside is no longer a safe place to be. Sam barricades himself inside an apartment and tries to stave off boredom with what used to be an old man (Denis Lavant) as his only company.
The Night Eats the World is as much a study of loneliness and isolation as it is a horror film in the traditional sense. Whilst much of the focus is on Sam’s daily ennui, there are tense zombie scenes to keep the pace ticking along. Dominique Rocher’s film dwells on his plight and what it means to be truly alone. As he alternates between despair and hope, Sam wrestles with the essence of being human. Anders Danielsen Lie carries the film well and what The Night Eats the World does so well is to make an extraordinary situation feel frighteningly real.
The Night Eats the World is released on DVD by Signature Entertainment on 27 August.