Wednesday, April 17, 2013

THE END (2012) movie review

End, The (2012) d. Torregrossa, Jorge (Spain)

Equal parts Return of the Secaucus Seven and The Rapture, Torregrossa’s muted apocalyptic drama kicks off with a reunion of a group of formerly inseparable college friends and concludes with, well, the end of the world. After a strange phenomenon in the night sky disrupts all electricity, the group wakes up to find that 99% of humanity has simply…disappeared. With autos, houses, shops and streets all abandoned, the friends head out in search of answers. What happened? Where is everyone? Why are we still here? How long before what happened to others happens to us?

Based on the novel by David Monteagudo and adapted by the powerhouse screenwriting team of Jorge Guerricaechevarria (Day of the Beast, Accione Mutante) and Sergio Sanchez (The Orphanage, The Impossible), we are given brief glimpses of residual affection and jealousy, outbursts of passion and reminiscence, before the larger problem at hand takes the wheel. There are a few scenes of action, mostly involving large groups of animals (stampeding sheep, a pack of hungry German Shepherds), but for the most part the mood is one of quiet desperation and dreadful anticipation.

Like many disaster movies, it’s fairly easy to guess the order in which the core band will dwindle and it is here that I wish the artists had gotten more creative; while the film succeeds as entertainment overall, it’s slightly disappointing that such a rich story concept never stretches beyond its initial big idea. Starring Maribel Verdu, Daniel Grao, Clara Lago, Antonio Garrido, Miquel Fernandez, Andres Velenscoso, Carmen Ruiz and Blanca Romero.

--Aaron Christensen, HorrorHound Magazine

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