Monday, March 2, 2015

These Final Hours (2013)

THESE FINAL HOURS  is a dark troubling film that’s not for the faint of heart. If you don’t want to be thoroughly depressed don’t see it.

If on the other hand you want to see a deeply affecting and extremely well made film about the end of the world do see it.

A spoiler at the top is unavoidable – forget there being a reprieve everyone dies at the end of the film. As for there being any hope or light its all a matter of degrees

The film is the story of James who is spending the last hours of the world with his girlfriend. It’s the end because a meteor strike in the North Atlantic is sending a fire storm across the globe. It’s all going to be over in 12 hours when the fire reaches Australia. As the couple finishes making love James‘s girlfriend tells him she’s pregnant. Unable to handle it he leaves to go to an end of the world party. Along the way he ends up stopping two guys from raping a little girl. Deciding to help the girl find her family before he heads off to the party he finds his plans getting side tracked by the death, destruction and hedonism around him.

I think this is a great film-but I never ever ever want to see it again. It’s too bleak to contemplate. I don’t want to be in its head space. While it casts some much needed new light on notions of love, longing and existence the story is just too horribly sad and it left me wondering what’s the point- yes love conquers all except for a cosmic firestorm but if this is how we end what’s the point? Having someone to hold on to before we're incinerated alive?

Don’t get me wrong if the film wasn’t as good as it is I wouldn’t want to play in traffic, but I didn’t need this in my head. I still don’t.

The film had me making favorable comparisons between a couple of other recent end of the world films- Seeking A Friend for The End of the World with it’s quest for companionship and Before the Fall about trying to stop a serial killer in the hours before the end. I also liked it how it was the polar opposite of Abel Ferrara’s 444 Last Day on Earth which posits a very long wait to die in a less spectacular event that life kind of just goes on until it doesn’t. I liked how this film fit into this wonderful grouping of different takes on the how we might face the end.

In all seriousness this is a great film but its emotional punch is such it is not for all audiences. If you don’t mind the examination of serious subjects in a dark and down beat story by all means see THESE FINAL HOURS. If not stay away.

The film hits US theaters and VOD Friday

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