November 29, 2015

The Last Days

David & Alex Pastor, 2013
Just when you think that it's all been done before in the apocalyptic genre, The Last Days proves that you can still make a film with some originality. Set in Barcelona, the story focuses on a global epidemic that causes humans to become agoraphobic, where they cannot go outdoors without seizing up and immediately dying. This of course creates chaos, which turns into a quick collapse of civilization. While everyone is stuck inside, they become confined to the buildings that they are in. Supplies begin to run out, and in some areas there are just no supplies to begin with. What transpires is sort of a Mad Max stuck inside.

It's creative storytelling, the concept of a epidemic hitting the world and instead of attacking innocent humans at random - you actually have some sense of control over your own fate. The story largely focuses on character Marc (Quim Gutierrez), corporate computer programmer who is stuck at his office building and is desperately trying to reunite with girlfriend Julia (Marta Etura).

One impressive feat of the film is it decides to not just focus on the early moments of the virus but instead focuses on Marc's journey months after he has been stuck inside the office. Resources have basically run dry and the inhabitants have been working to mine their way to the subway system in an effort to travel without actually having to go outside. You see some flashbacks that give you some more insight into Marc's character. By the final act of the film, you are fully invested in Marc's mission to find Julia. One of the most extraordinary aspects of The Last Days is it doesn't just stop with a story about a guy trying to find his girl. It really makes some ambitious leaps with the story that make it an even more rewarding piece of work.

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