The Night Eats the World

The Night Eats the World ★★★★½

Rewatching this a year into Covid really shifts the focus from it being a curiously quiet zombie movie to a study of isolation and the insanity and fear that it breeds. Danielsen Lie’s sudden shrieks and hysterical cackling make that transformation explosive, his face otherwise placid with etched-deep loneliness. 

The highlights for me remain his music, created with glasses, a wood block, and other random objects. His two drumming sequences feel iconic, bursts of fury and creation that director Rocher cuts with the madness on the streets outside. I’ve rewound to watch them over and over. 

In real life, Danielsen Lie studied musicology and has released a bright and eccentric album based on his childhood recordings (presumably the same tapes he’s seen listening to in this movie). It clarifies the extent to which this movie is a collaboration, how any other casting choice would’ve radically changed the final picture, probably to its detriment. As is, it’s tense, scary, occasionally funny, and always humane.

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