Post-apocalyptic zombie movies tend to have staying power when they inadvertently predict the future in ways we couldn’t imagine. Coming out just two years before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the world to go into lockdown, The Night Eats the World centers on the idea of a widespread infection that forces a lone survivor to quarantine himself in his apartment while he figures out his next moves.
Though it’s likely a coincidence that we saw a real-life but zombie-free version of events play out in 2020, watching this movie with hindsight on your side will make you wonder if writer and director Dominique Rocher knew something we didn’t while working on this film.
Isolating During A Zombie Apocalypse
The Night Eats the World focuses on a musician named Sam and the voluntary solitary confinement that he subjects himself to when he learns of a zombie apocalypse. After passing out in his ex-girlfriend’s apartment during a party, while trying to retrieve some of his old music tapes, Sam wakes up the following morning to a trashed, empty apartment with blood covering the walls. Quickly realizing that his ex-girlfriend, Fanny, and the other partygoers have become zombies, he barricades himself inside the apartment until he can gather his senses.
The world outside the apartment complex is overridden by zombified humans, confirming to Sam that there is a widespread outbreak that he needs to consider before venturing outside. When the resident living below Fanny’s apartment commits suicide by shotgun, Sam retrieves the weapon and explores the otherwise vacant building to gather supplies to hold him over until he can figure out what’s going on. During this period of exploration and gathering in The Night Eats the World, Sam finds a room full of music equipment that will help keep his mind occupied during his solitary excursion.
As The Night Eats the World progresses, so does Sam’s spiral into mentally instability. Like the pandemic quarantines that we all experienced fairly recently, the idea of having some downtime sounds appealing at first, but even the most stoic of minds can get a little stir-crazy without the company of others. As his mental state continues to decline, he has a run in with a survivor named Sarah who tells him that he will either die or go completely insane unless he ventures out to find other survivors.
A Zombie Film That Explores The Effects Of Isolation
The Night Eats the World is a standout zombie film because it focuses on a single central character rather than an ensemble cast full of survivors. But despite its brooding and contemplative narrative, we bear witness to the personal struggles that survivors have to endure in this context. That is to say, there is no rallying of troops or sense camaraderie in this film, but rather the internal struggle of extreme loneliness that a lone survivor has to face during times of widespread disaster.
The Night Eats The World Comes Highly Recommended
When you consider the 87 percent critical score The Night Eats the World currently holds on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s safe to say that the brooding and slow-burn nature of this film resonated with audiences on a level that most modern zombie movies haven’t. Relying on minimalism to tell its story, The Night Eats the World changed the game by allowing viewers to focus on a single character’s internal struggles instead of the worldwide implications that zombie movies typically explore.