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Review: Nothing new in arty French zombie drama 'The Night Eats the World'

Review: Nothing new in arty French zombie drama 'The Night Eats the World'
Anders Danielsen Lie in the movie "The Night Eats the World." (Blue Fox Entertainment)

Every new zombie movie seems like a desperate attempt to answer one question: “Is there anything original left to be done in this genre?” And more and more, the answer is: “Nope.”

Director Dominique Rocher's post-apocalyptic drama “The Night Eats the World” tries an unconventional approach … but not a fresh one. Anders Danielsen Lie plays Sam, who drops by his ex-girlfriend’s Paris apartment to pick up some things, then dozes off, waking up to find the city’s been struck with a run-of-the-mill “undead plague.” For the rest of the movie, Sam’s in survival mode, scavenging the building and staving off ghouls.

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“The Night Eats the World” isn’t a horror picture. It’s about a man who was lonely and directionless before the end of everything arrived, and who now seeks whatever purpose remains in what’s left. He mostly spends his days making music, rifling through other people’s personal effects, having one-sided conversations with a trapped zombie (played by Denis Lavant), and watching the cataclysm unfold from his ex’s balcony.

But Sam isn’t developed enough to build a character sketch around — especially given that there’s very little dialogue in the film, and almost no back story. Without an interesting hero, what’s left are the usual drooling monsters in the streets menacing a human with dwindling supplies. No matter how spare and arty “The Night Eats the World” is, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before.

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‘The Night Eats the World’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

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