31 Days of Reviews: The Last Days (2013)

I would have to say this is probably the best movie I’ve reviewed in my 31 Days of Reviews so far.

The overall premise of this movie is that the people of the world are suddenly overtaken by severe agoraphobia, in this case a fear of going outside. This causes everyone to live their lives in doors, traveling through underground tunnels, subways and sewers. The main character of the film, Marc, teams up with his old boss Enrique, in order to make it to their loved ones.

The biggest plot hole I would have to point out in this movie is that the audience is never really told how this agoraphobia is spread, what exactly it is, or why it’s happening. This leaves you to come up with your own hypothesis, which I did. I can see this as a huge reason why a lot of people wouldn’t like this movie. In fact, it only has a 2.5 star rating on Netflix and it’s rated pretty average on IMDb.

If you are able to suspend your disbelief, then the movie is pretty great. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful. The way in which the movie transitions between the present and the flashbacks is really nice. There is character development, at least for the two male leads. This is a massive problem I’ve been having with a lot of horror movies that I’ve been watching, no character development. In the case of this movie, I thought I did see some development, at least in Marc. I felt for him as a character, even if those feelings weren’t entirely positive. That’s more than I can say for a lot of the movies I’ve reviewed recently.

The movie is post-apocalyptic, and therefore it follows a lot of cliches from that genre. There is a massive struggle throughout the entire movie, but the characters are able to overcome it in order to make it to the end, but for some simple reason, they are unable to really complete their mission. Despite certain characters being able to survive on their own for months, as soon as the main character comes into contact with them, they die. (My favorite character gets stabbed as soon as I utter the words, “I like this character!” You know.. the usual).

Overall though, I really did like this movie. I would recommend it. It’s a foreign film, spoken in Spanish and subtitled. I thought the idea was really original. It left the floor open for you as a viewer to make your own assessment about what exactly the movie was trying to say. I would definitely recommend it.

I know a lot of people who suffer from panic attacks, so I would be interested to hear what they think about this movie; However I would probably issue a trigger warning based on the plot, so if this sounds like something that would trigger you, please avoid it. 

Below the asterisks, I will say my own hypothesis of what the film was trying to say, and reveal a bit more about the ending, so spoilers.

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My hypothesis of the meaning of The Last Days was that the main point was about paranoia. When this agoraphobia begins, it is with one person in a foreign country who is scared to leave his room and commits suicide because of this fear. The media starts reporting on the story, and as soon as this happens, it starts to spread to other people.

Like a game of dominos, the increased amount of people affected by the mysterious illness causes a much larger amount of media coverage. This is where it starts to affect our main character. He starts to tell his wife that the world is a terrible place, and he can barely imagine himself living in it, much less bringing children into the horrible world. Later that day, he finds himself affected with the agoraphobia, and he is unable to leave his work in order to rejoin his girlfriend, Julia.

Months pass, and everyone is now infected. People would rather die than face their fears and step outside. Similar to a rat who gets shocked every time  it presses a lever and soon stops pressing the lever completely, the people of Barcelona won’t even try.

Skip to the end of the movie, and Marc manages to face his fear and go outside in order to rejoin his girlfriend Julia in a building across the street. Some months later, Marc and Julia have a son. As their son grows older, the audience is shown that he can go outside with no problem. When he comes of age, he leaves his family behind to go out into the world with the next generation of young adults.

Why is that? Why can’t Marc and Julia go outside, but their son can? I would suggest that this enforces my hypothesis of paranoia being the overall mystery illness. Everyone who was alive, or at least old enough to witness and understand the fear mongering of the media, can’t forget their preconceived notions and their experiences. It is up to the next generation, one that is fresh and innocent to start life anew.

Based on my hypothesis at least, I like the message that I understood from the film. I thought it was pretty deep. I’ll reiterate that I would recommend this movie, and I’d be interested to hear if anyone interprets the movie differently.

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