Aiden (Tylor Posey) is trapped in his apartment due to a terrible pandemic. This very relatable concept is made more dramatic with the inclusion of zombies. Familiar sequences depict the initial panic, resulting chaos and eventual confinement as the siege settles in. As his resources dwindle, his hope fades, until the appearance of another survivor gives him the ultimate drive to survive.
Prescient and timely in it’s depiction of confinement, isolation and fear. The challenges facing Aiden around his mental health and an increased pressure to compete in a world with dwindling resources have become universal anxieties this past year. As the plot progresses and more urgent questions regarding the cost of survival emerge, the film couldn’t feel more appropriate. Morbid interest in just how well you’d manage to survive a zombie outbreak in your home with no notice. For example, where is our main character finding food?
Films with larger budgets or less vision would probably not confine itself to the apartment building for the entire runtime. Fortunately, Director Johnny Martin, finds new ways to make the single setting dynamic and interesting. As our hero blocks out the outside world, he does so in such a way as to splatter his sanctuary in colour. Much of the action eschews the budget-friendly darkness of night in favour of broad daylight. As the plot advances, the film becomes a little more contrived and unnatural. Aiden discovers a fellow survivor and object of his affections quite literally at his lowest moment. After this point there’s a slightly abrupt tonal shift. The zombie attacks are played brutally straight, but the romantic sequences have the frothiness of a romantic comedy, even if it is delivered via the medium of written notes. The relatively rare moments of comic relief are also a little out of place, with wry quips and . It is possible to do romance and gallows humour in a gritty film, but it requires a subtlety this film lacks.
Posey is fairly good in the lead role. He carries much of the film and is very affecting in his moments of sorrow and pain. He perhaps leans a little too heavily into the moments of relief, occasionally recalling Tom Holland’s Spiderman which feels very out of place. He has excellent chemistry with Summer Spiro who . Donald Sutherland makes a memorable appearance as a mild-mannered neighbour who’s also managed to lie low through the apocalypse. It’s fairly clear from his performance where his character is going, but he has at least the time to deliver one of the more memorable monologues of the film, with sentimental music to assure you this is the acting bit. In any case, Sutherland is clearly having fun.
The movie perhaps excelled most in it’s action beats. Some iffy continuity aside, there are some very impressive stunts and tense moments of peril. Final Days has some excellent ideas and a flare for memorable visuals. It is however, mired by a lack of subtlety and a few too many clichés. It’s diverting, compelling and strangely well placed for the times, but it’s unlikely to enjoy too much of a shelf-life. But I look forward to seeing where these film makers go next.