If you’ve already seen the Korean zombie survival movie #Alive, currently streaming on Netflix, you’ll begin to get a strong feeling of deja vu as you watch Final Days (FKA Alone). It turns out that Matt Naylor, who wrote #Alive, also had a hand in writing this American version, with both movies coming out during 2020.
Opening on day 42 of whatever it is that’s happened to the world, we join Aidan (Tyler Posey) at a desperately low point in his life. Looking tired and broken, Aidan is all set to give up on life. And then we head right back to the beginning to find out how exactly where and how it all went wrong.
Like #Alive, Final Days starts off intense. After stumbling out of bed and hearing a commotion outside, Aidan heads out onto the balcony of his apartment to find chaos unfolding everywhere he looks. A spinning helicopter flies overhead, crashing into a nearby building, while someone down on the ground is about to get jumped on by a bunch of crazed zombie-like people.
Heading back into his apartment, the news reports aren’t using the word zombie to describe the afflicted. Whatever the infected have caught is being transmitted by blood or via bites, with sufferers becoming filled with rage and cannibalistic tendencies. But they can also talk, as well as retaining the ability to think and problem solve. Some of the ‘Screamers’, as they eventually become known, are even asking to be killed, indicating they are fully aware of what they have become but have no control over it.
For a while, Aidan just accepts the fact that he needs to stay at home. It is a lockdown situation, after all, something we’re all very familiar with following the events of the last year or so. However, we are not likely to be pounced on and eaten alive by our neighbours if we step out of the door (although I guess that does depend entirely on the area that you live in!). With running water and electricity, the days pass by fairly painlessly, aside from Aidan having to barricade his front door with the refrigerator to stop psychotic neighbours from entering. But when the water supply eventually cuts out, followed by the electrics, things begin to go downhill. Until we reach day 42, and the events we saw at the start of the movie.
As Aidan stares out of his window, completely broken and looking like shit with his scraggly beard, messy hair and black rings around his eyes, he spots a woman in the apartment block straight across from him. Her clothes are clean, her hair perfect and her makeup fresh. She’s clearly handled the apocalypse a lot better than Aidan has!
It’s at this point that I felt Final Days improves upon #Alive. With #Alive, we truly feel the pain that our hero Oh Joon-woo goes through – rationing out his food and dealing with zombie-like creatures that are a lot more terrifying than those in the American version. In Final Days, it all seems so much more straightforward and less interesting, but when Aidan finds something to live for, someone to connect with, it’s a more believable relationship and really gives us something to root for. Finding some walkie talkies and rope in his rock climber neighbours apartment also makes talking to and meeting up with Eva (Summer Spiro) more of a possibility and something to aim for.
And then suddenly, Donald Sutherland shows up – a pleasant surprise which elevates the drama further. Although, if you’ve seen his counterpart in #Alive then any air of mystery and surprise surrounding his character and motives will be well and truly shattered.
I feel like I keep mentioning #Alive but honestly, if you’ve already watched and enjoyed that movie then there’s not a lot to be gained by watching Final Days. But if you haven’t seen #Alive, then Final Days is still a fairly decent zombie survival that’s worth your time.
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