The Night Eats the World (La nuit a dévoré le monde)

Critics Consensus

The Night Eats the World finds a few unexplored corners in the crowded zombie genre, with a refreshing emphasis on atmosphere and character development.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 38

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 337
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Movie Info

After waking up in an apartment the night after a raging party, Sam comes face to face with his new reality: an army of zombies have invaded the streets of Paris and he is one of the lone survivors. Petrified with fear, he barricades himself inside the building to survive. He wonders how long can he last in silence and solitude, and the answer comes when he learns that he's not all alone after all.

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Critic Reviews for The Night Eats the World (La nuit a dévoré le monde)

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (8)

  • If you are going to take a dusty old premise, you have to be creative -- and director Dominique Rocher does this with flair.

    May 8, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • To Rocher's credit, this is not nearly as tedious as it sounds.

    Jul 12, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Katie Rife

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • No matter how spare and arty "The Night Eats the World" is, there's nothing here that hasn't been done before.

    Jul 12, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The makeup design and chase scenes are rote, and the little dramatic conflict - arguments over where to hide - traffic in the oldest clichés in the genre.

    Jul 12, 2018 | Full Review…
  • If you don't get too hung up on the film's many contrivances - particularly its uninspired finale and any scene where Lie speaks - you might find The Night Eats the World to be sufficiently moody.

    Jul 11, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Even as the story drifts off, Night Eats the World derives its power from a beguiling, provocative implication: It's hard to confront a hostile world, but gathering the courage to do so doesn't make the job any easier.

    Apr 23, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Eric Kohn

    indieWire
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Night Eats the World (La nuit a dévoré le monde)

  • Dec 16, 2018
    What can you really say about the zombie genre that hasn't been said? It's been said before and it will be said again, I don't think I can really add much to that whole discussion. What I will say, and I have said it before, is that I'm the type of person that always appreciates when films take risks within the well-worn framework of the zombie genre. I think, in many ways, The Walking Dead has been the best and worst thing to happen to the zombie genre. I think it was great in that it opened up the door for other people to tell more character-driven stories within this genre. The Walking Dead is character-driven mostly because of necessity as no long-running series (whether on comic book or television) can be sustained with the lead characters JUST fighting the zombies. There has to be the human element as well, there have to be people at the core of these stories. So I like that the Walking Dead opened the door for film companies to give a shot to smaller films within the genre that end up being driven by characters and how they react to this apocalypse instead of just an intense gorefest where our heroes battle endless hordes of zombies. Not saying the former is better than the latter, or vice versa, but I gravitate to a movie like this or Here Alone, where it's a different twist on the genre. The way The Walking Dead has been terrible is that now everybody, invariably, when they see a movie like this, they compare it, whether favorably or not to the Walking Dead, despite the fact that, honestly, outside of the first season, TWD hasn't been a good show, IN MY OPINION. I find the show boring, the characters uninteresting and the horror incredibly repetitive. I stopped watching about eight episodes into season four and we're now on season nine, so it's been like four or five years since I haven't seen an episode of TWD in its entirety. In a lot of ways, at least back when I stopped watching (when the show was at or near its peak in popularity), a lot of it is the fact that it was popular. Because if you took a step back and actually looked at the series, you can see that, objectively speaking, it wasn't that good. I'm not saying it was terrible either, but it just wasn't good is my point. Neither here nor there, I suppose. Let's move on to this movie, shall we? I honestly don't think I've seen a movie capture the solitude and loneliness of, really, at least as far as we're aware, being the last man on earth or France, in this case, as this movie has. Be warned, this movie has very little traditional dialogue. There's a few lines here and there at the beginning exchanged between Sam and, I think, his ex-girlfriend, as he's looking for some of his tapes that he left behind at her apartment. She keeps him waiting, he gets upset and then she tells him to wait in a room and they'll talk things out. Sam heads in there, falls asleep, wakes up and the zombie apocalypse has already started. For those of you looking for answers as to what happened, there are none and the movie never makes any attempt to answer the questions as to what happened. It just happened and that's the way life is and I'm perfectly fine with that, why, because the movie is not about finding out the truth. It's about Sam surviving, alone, for as long as he has and his mental deterioration as he spends more time isolated from the rest of the world. This is a more psychological movie than you'd think. I wouldn't even feel comfortable calling it a horror movie. It's certainly framed as one and there's some intense moments, particularly near the climax, but it's not like Sam has to fight horde after horde of zombie. There is always the thought, in the back of Sam's mind, what if they break into the apartment as they did before and they find him. The point is, however, that the movie contains very little dialogue after the shit goes down. There are lines here and there, but no dialogue as Sam is really the only person you see for a majority of the film. We're eight minutes into the film when Sam wakes up and the world has gone to shit and it's another hour before we see another human being with a substantial presence in the narrative. However, even with that lack of characters, I feel that the movie works in creating an atmosphere of loneliness that is slowly seeping all of Sam's sanity. I find it interesting in that there's a moment when all the zombies around the apartment leave, they're more drawn to sound than anything else. And Sam, in all his infinite "wisdom" plays the drums really loudly to make them come back. And I find it that really interesting, because there was nothing stopping him from just...leaving and seeing how things are elsewhere, but he didn't. He drew the zombies back to the apartment with the drums. Sam's mind by this point was already starting to get a little bit fried, but part of me thinks that he thinks he needed the zombies to survive. He needed a reason to feel like he was safe in this apartment and that there was no need to leave. Without the zombies there, there's no reason for him to stay. Subconsciously, maybe Sam wanted to play it safe. Stick with what he knows and what will keep him alive for the longest time as opposed to risking it and, maybe, dying in the process. To cope with his loneliness, he becomes "friends" with Alfred, a zombie he's kept trapped in this lift. He talks to him, lashes out at him, apologizes to him, asks him for advice with women. I think a lot of people in the same situation would react exactly the same way, it's at least some way to keep yourself from going insane. The problem with this movie is that I don't know if I felt that it was good or very good. It's somewhere in between the two. Honestly, I liked Here Alone better than this movie, even if this captures that isolation much, MUCH better than Here Alone. It's certainly got a good script, well-made and it has a solid lead performance from Anders Danielse Lie, but I don't think it ever really pushes the boundaries of what the genre can be. It does something different, yes, but it's not really THAT different when I've seen Here Alone do it better. That this movie does something better than Here Alone does not make it a better overall movie. I don't know, this was just a good movie that was, almost, a very good one. However I did like the climax since it does seem to be building to Sam escaping the apartment he's in and, attempting, to find some form of civilization, if there is any, out there. The goal, at the end, isn't to save the world, it's to get out of this one apartment complex. And that's such a simple and small goal and it just sort of works for how minimalist this movie is. But, at the same time, it's not like getting out of this apartment is something to be celebrated for long as, of course, Sam still has a LONG way to go before he gets to where he wants to, if he's even able to get there. I feel like this review sucks, since it might have glossed over some parts of the movie, but I'm feeling lazy today and this is where I wanna cut it off. I enjoyed this movie, it tries something new even if it doesn't go as far as I'd like in pushing the genre forward. A good script, atmosphere and a strong lead performance all make this a movie I'd recommend if you have Prime. But, honestly, you won't be missing out on anything special if you decide to skip out on this. I'm glad I watched it, of course, but it's not a transformative genre experience.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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