These Final Hours

This isn’t a current release (it’s 2013), but it’s my blog so I’ll allow myself the occasional one that I missed at the time.

Set in Australia after a meteor has wiped out Europe and a fire storm is heading their way, it can be viewed as an update of Shute’s On the Beach. In twelve hours everyone will be dead. The film follows shallow James as he leaves one girlfriend to head to an end of the world party with another. Along the way we see how quickly civilisation crumbles with suicide, murder, rape and brutality around every corner. He rescues Rose from two paedophiles and becomes her reluctant protector.

This is a downbeat, low-budget apocalypse movie. There is no last minute rescue mission, no ark or bunker. At the end a leader doesn’t make a stirring speech about how in their final hours humanity showed their finest qualities. Neither does it use the end of the world as a backdrop for philosophical musings between articulate characters. Things go very bad, very quickly for everyone – they do indeed escalate quickly. The attendees at the end of the world party are despicable and unhinged. All the people the pair meet on the road are like characters from Dante, it would be no surprise to come across an Ugolino devouring his children. Yet through all the anarchy and inhumanity we get a well played form of redemption. Without histrionics or sentimentality it manages to be genuinely moving.

This should be shown in a double bill with something like The Day After Tomorrow. Then go to the pub and discuss humanity.

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