The first movie I watched was "Goodbye World" a movie about a virus that shuts down the power grid. The movie starts off in a very promising way, a man is about to kill himself he sends out a message to every cell phone in the United States that says Goodbye World. Then we start to meet our cast. These are a bunch of college friends sort of like a modern day St. Elmos Fire. They all end up at a Cabin in the California hills that is relatively well set up. The power grid starts to fail and we get a inkling that it was all started by a computer virus.
This is where the movie starts to loose its potency. They are riding out the apocalypse and they're partying and having the time of their lives. Then things start to get troublesome in paradise, but not because of the ongoing apocalypse. People start falling in love with each others wives/husbands. Others start fighting. It's like a super-dramatic soap opera about these hipsters love lives. One of the women who starts to become an outcast finally says "You all think you're so intelligent, but you're really just weak... and boring." To me that line sums up the whole movie. One reviewer of my novel commented that it was a "sort of cushy apocalypse." Obviously that reviewer hadn't seen this movie, because it makes the apocalypse look like a bad day at a hippy commune.
The next movie I watched was "The Last Days" a subtitled film from Spain. If you guys have read my stories you know that I like taking themes that have been played out (like zombies and serial killers) and turning them on their heads. I think this movie does that. It really takes a fresh spin on the apocalypse. The film starts out with a guy who hates his job, he works in a typical cubical in a high-rise. Something slowly starts causing people to have extreme agoraphobia, the mass hysteria spreads and soon everyone has it. Not only are they scared to go outside, but it is so intense that you begin to get seizures and your brain hemorrhages.
So here's a guy who is seemingly stuck at his job for eternity. They ration food and do what they can to survive. No one can go outside so eventually they tunnel into the subway. Our main character Marc desperately needs to find his love interest and through an unlikely partnership with the company head-hunter they traverse the city through the subway tunnels and sewers using a stolen GPS.
The movie has some great imagery and the acting is pretty solid. I really liked the idea of "What if you could never go outside and were stuck exactly where you are. It had great symbolism. The end of the movie gets a little shaky especially with a silly scene involving a bear, and the end itself is somewhat schmaltzy. Overall though I highly recommend this fresh take on the end of times.
The last movie I watched was called "After the Dark" I have mixed feelings about this movie. Again this is a different take on the apocalypse. It's and interesting premise, where a Philosophy teacher comes up with a thought experiment that includes apocalyptic scenarios. The students have to decide which classmates get to live in their bunker which is only big enough for half of the class. They are given different skills which would make them valuable or not. The apocalypse is then played out in a CGI'd alternate reality ie. their imaginations. The problem with this is that we as the audience know that nothing life threatening is really happening. It takes a lot of the "skin" and emotional investment out of the conflict.
I liked some parts of the movie, but other parts were a little silly. The first big twist is really well done, but the others ... not so much. I do however think it's a movie that has the potential to make you think and being targeted to the "Hunger Games" crowd it is much more worthy than most of that genre. I think it's worth a watch and if you ignore a few minor plot holes and gimmicks you'll probably enjoy it.
So anyway that's my take on the new Post-Apoc movies on Netflix.