Ravenous (2017)

Lucky number 14 in our 31 nights of horror!

I skipped unlucky number 13, by accidentally counting 11 twice. The Babadook was actually 12th and Train to Busan 13. We have another zombie movie with subtitles, unless you speak french.

Ravenous is the english title for the Quebec made film Les Affamés. It is a “fast zombie” movie that mostly feels more like an episode of The Walking Dead, except… you know… in french. We are dropped in to a zombie apocalypse already several weeks old and are introduced to our main cast and their world slowly. The movie plays mostly towards the atmospheric, spending much of its time quietly following the survivors around. It’s more about the people and their relationships than it is about action scenes or big special effects, which I liked… in the beginning.

While the character interactions are great, and the main reason people watch The Walking Dead for as long as they have, the filmmakers tweak your typical zombies a little, making them not just fast, but more intelligent than usual. They build stuff like the zombies in Stephen Kings novel Cell. Except… what they build is more sculpture than functional and we never get an answer as to what the hell they’re doing it for. There’s a brief cut of someone being killed by the zombies and a fountain of blood, intermixed with visuals of a tower of chairs, that makes the two look similar. So, the infected are making art to remind them of what they love? We are left to make up our own minds as to what it means.

I like movies that require the audience to do some thinking. Movies that make them question and debate what they saw when it’s all over. I”m not a fan of movies that just throw stuff in front of you because it looks cool, then don’t follow up. The media here in Quebec loved it. Various critics said the movie spoke of culture, or politics or a “zombie religion”. I think they haven’t watched enough movies featuring the undead, because I saw nothing I hadn’t seen before, except for the “creations” which referred to nothing and you could interpret pretty much any way you want.

In fairness, it’s hard to give a satisfactory ending to a zombie movie, I mean the world is still pretty much over and anyone still alive at the end still has to make it through the next day we don’t see.

To sum up, the movie started strong but lost me towards the end. As much as I wish I could, I can’t recommend it. There are other, better zombie movies out, as well as the first few seasons of both Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.

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