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  Last Days, The Barcel-oh-no
Year: 2013
Director: David Pastor, Àlex Pastor
Stars: Quim Gutiérrez, Jose Coronado, Marta Etura, Leticia Dolera, Mikel Iglesias, Ivan Massagué, Pere Ventura, Lluís Soler, Abdelatif Hwidar, Farah Hamed, Lily Morret, Isak Férriz, Pere Brasó, Momo Ballesteros, Albert Prat, Lluís Villanueva
Genre: Drama, Action, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Things have been different around the world for this past month. Ever since a huge volcanic eruption occurred, it has changed the way people were thinking, or maybe it was just the catalyst for what has transpired, it is difficult to say: a viral video of a Canadian teen who spent six months without going outside before shooting himself in the head appears to have planted a meme in the global population's minds as well. For Marc (Quim Gutiérrez), he has wound up stuck in his office building, not because he has so much to do, but because like everyone else in there he has been struck by this bizarre curse afflicting not just his home city of Barcelona, but everywhere...

By 2013, finding a reason for the apocalypse in the movies had become a matter of either sticking with the ones we were familiar with - zombies, natural disasters, and so forth - or finding something new to say, and the latter was a path less trodden by science fiction and horror filmmakers. Not so by the Pastor brothers, who had concocted a vampire yarn in Carriers, which had picked up a minor following, and continued with an Armageddon set into motion by the world suddenly developing a bad case of agoraphobia. Quite the reason for this was unclear, and not really made more apparent by their scripting, which offered a number of explanations but did not settle on any of them.

So maybe it was a form of mass hysteria, or maybe there was a physical motive for staying inside, such as some airborne virus, or it could have been a combination of factors, all we know that venturing out of the building you are in when the condition hits you is a no-no. For Marc, the main frustration there is that he is parted from his girlfriend Julia (Marta Etura) who we see in flashbacks, but may still be out there in the city somewhere, or he dearly hopes so at any rate. Once the office workers have managed to make a hole in the basement level of their block, through to the underground railway, they can potentially go and fetch help, or some sustenance anyway.

Marc elects to go, with the help of the troubleshooter who was there to hire and/or fire the staff who were not pulling their weight, among other duties, and Marc was one of those he threatened with the sack so you can imagine he does not like this chap, Enrique (Jose Coronado) too much, especially when Marc caught him nicking a GPS from a vehicle in the car park. Enrique will not divulge why he needs this device, but he is insistent that he goes too, so a journey across a post-apocalyptic world that was very familiar from many a similar science fiction or chiller flick was in order. The main difference here was that our two adventurers did not commandeer a vehicle since they were travelling from basement area to underground location, therefore had to make their way on foot.

Naturally, with this panic afflicting the populace, there are going to be those who turned to violence to get their way, and that was the case with some of the encounters, as it would be a dull film indeed that simply featured a lot of traipsing about in semi-darkness. Not that this was exactly riveting, but it was diverting enough for what it was, it was simply that as an allegory for a society obsessed with keeping itself to itself and regarding human interaction outside of their circle of friends and relations and those they worked with as something to be avoided or even feared, The Last Days was on shaky ground, appearing to say something more profound than it ever managed to draw conclusions about. It was on firmer ground with its thriller and action aspects, some of which were eccentric enough to keep you watching - bear attack, anyone? But the rather flimsy premise that led to no great revelation or twist was its downfall, and add to that a finale that indicated these were anything but the last days, you had a middling entertainment. Music by Fernando Velázquez.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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