The Night Eats the World ★★★½

Like most of the better zombocalypse pictures in recent years, Domnique Rocher’s film injects some vitality into a stale subgenre not by discarding the form’s constraints but by making compelling structural and storytelling choices. When the brokenhearted, resentful Sam (Sanders Danielsen Lie, of 'Reprise' and 'Oslo August 31') falls asleep at his ex’s Parisian flat during a party, he awakens to a world overrun with cannibalistic ghouls. For much of its running time, 'The Night Eats the World' is a solo, mostly wordless endeavor. Taking a page from Castaway and I Am Legend, Rocher observes Sam over the ensuing months as he barricades the building, scavenges food and water, and develops a routine that allows him to both physically endure and stave off encroaching madness. Late in the film Sam encounters another living human (Golshifteh Farahani), but 'Night' is foremost a measured, somber depiction of isolation, one less focused on procedural details than on challenging the distinctions between survival and living.