Today’s feature is an independent horror movie proving that even in the throes of an undead plague setting, the French can’t help wallowing in their own ennui.
Our protagonist-to-be Sam hits up his ex Fanny (that’s a name!?) to recover some audio cassettes she accidentally took with her when moving in with her new beau Mathieu (pronounced the same way I approach numbers – “Math. Ew.”). Being an introvert, Sammy picked the worst possible time to retrieve his tapes though, because the lovers are having a house party that makes House Party look like House Party 3 and he’s left waiting for Butt/Vagina (depending on where you are) to get away from her wall-to-wall attendees long enough to reunite him with his possessions. As such, he spends that time exactly like I would: sitting on a couch, alone in a crowd. After finally being fed up with her ignoring him, he demands to know where his sick tracks are and she directs him to an office in the back of the apartment. On the way there, his nose becomes the casualty of some douche goblin with a Polaroid camera who stumbles into our hero, giving the frail gent a seeming concussion, as he passes out almost immediately upon reaching the room. A tactic that I’ve used many times in similar social settings!
As he’s fading to black, we hearing the telltale signs of a disturbance outside. Sure enough, when Sam regains consciousness the next morning, the rest of the place is in shambles and what appears to be blood is streaked on the walls! It turns out he slept right through a zombie outbreak. *Wacky sitcom noise goes here*
Unlike 28 Days Later or “The Walking Dead”, our hero’s in no hurry to explore the lifeless streets of Paris, probably because he’s seen a zombie movie or two in his life and knows better than to leave yourself out in the open when an entire population is eyeballing you like the newest Oreo flavor. Not eager to join the crowd (his introverted tendencies ain’t so bad now are they, MOM?!), he opts to settle in as the last man (as far as he knows) on Earth and make the best of a bad situation, holed up in his ex’s building with his own best friend – himself. Yes, rather than trying to figure out a way to escape his imprisonment, Sam embraces it as an opportunity to get lost in his own creativity to keep himself safe and sane. He even manages to make a “friend” or two along the way.
If you’re a fan of these one-man show style movies that study the human psyche and blah blah blah, then this is worth a view for you. I enjoyed the tame, low stakes journey of watching our hero comfortably adjusting to a situation that would drive the average person to total madness. It gives me hope that I too will be able to pull it off should the situation present itself. As a whole, the movie is a nice break from your typical “humans vs. hordes” slaughter sessions if you’re looking for something to break up the same old same old. Not that there’s anything wrong with said same old in The Tomb, but again, sometimes it’s just nice seeing something different.
But (not Fanny), my biggest gripe with any zombie movie is almost always the biology of their ghouls and the situation here is no different. In TNEtW, that gripe is big and throbbing and turgid and aggressive. Throughout Sam’s survival tenure (of which we’re talking a minimum of a few months), the infected look as fresh on day 100 as they did on day 1. They’re never shown eating ANYTHING, and yet the scourge of time doesn’t bring with it the telltale signs of malnutrition! These aren’t rotted corpses risen from the grave, mind you, but normal everyday folk who were turned into primal attack animals that not only haven’t succumbed to muscular atrophy, but thrive despite there being no sustenance or hydration to keep their bodies fueled!
I know, I know, “suspension of disbelief” and all. Sorry to say that my personal suspension (of disbelief) bridge doesn’t reach that far and thus these particular infected freaks Wile E. Coyote off into the void below. Nits picked.
Three Frogs Wearing Berets out-of-Five
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