Another week, another film with a virus theme. I guess horror is the only genre that can shamelessly profit from horrific situations!
Final Days is an apocalypse movie with a twist. Aidan (Tyer Posey from Teen Wolf) is living a pretty average existence until an outbreak changes everything, leaving him confined to his home, weary of what might happen if he ventures into the outside world.
Unlike our pandemic, this virus takes a more terrifying cannibalistic (zombie) turn and though Aidan does his best to stay away from danger in his apartment, after a prolonged period of isolation he has no choice but to leave in order to get supplies.
The outside is terrifying with masses of formidable, infected people, scouring the urban environment looking for fresh meat.
Faced with such a desperation, Aidan almost gives up entirely, but finds hope when he notices another survivor in a building opposite his – Eva (Summer Spiro). Desperate to reconnect with the living, Aidan is driven to the brink.
Final Days is an unusual film in that it comprises of lengthy periods of uneventful apartment isolation spattered with short periods of intense and impressive action – perhaps not too different to how live would really be if there was a zombie virus outbreak.
These lulls in activity do get a bit tiresome, but in some ways they are one of the film’s defining features, because outside of this, many of the other elements are unoriginal and have been over-used.
We have probably all seen more ‘stranded in a building surrounded by zombies’ movies than we care to count.
And although Final Days tries to go for a more modern take on its virus and monsters, it still has a number of familiar aspects. The virus being fusion of that seen depicted in 28 Days Later (2002), Pontypool (2008) and Train to Busan (2016) – producing fast zombies, filled with unstoppable rage that still retain some artifacts from their former nature, mumbling random phrases and words as they circle the urban landscape.
To anyone who has seen these earlier films or isn’t phased by the fact that this film has gleaned so much from them, there is still something to appreciate.
Posey’s performance as the lead is good, playing a nice balance of fragile and energetic, without stretching the boundaries of plausibility too far.
Donald Sutherland is also a nice inclusion, albeit a small one, as he plays a weary neighbour with some sage advice to pass on.
The action is good and when Aidan gets into the thick of it, the scenes get the audience’s pulse racing with plenty of vertigo-inducing precarious stunts and lots of dark, confined corridors filled with ravenous ghouls.
The high calibre of the action is probably a lot to do with Director Johnny Martin’s previous experience delivering stunts for films like The Rock and Matrix Reloaded.
Interestingly, Final Days was actually born from the same screenplay as Cho Il-hyung’s South Korean film #Alive. As a result there are plenty of similarities, but it’s worth checking out both interpretations if you get the chance – giving you the opportunity to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of both.
Final Days is a so-so zombie film with some nice features that will linger in the memory because of some imaginative action but doze inducing periods of low activity.