These Final Hours, 2013
Written and directed by Zak Hilditch
Starring Nathan Phillips, Angourie Rice, Katheryn Beck, Daniel Henshall, Jessica De Gouw, Lynette Curran
A self-obsessed young man makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth, but ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father. Their relationship ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.
What would you do in your final hours on earth? That’s what Zak Hilditch’s These Final Hours poses in this utterly gripping and emotionally taut drama that will rock to you to your very core.
It’s the end times as a meteorite has already struck the earth and humanity is approaching the final curtain. While America gets destroyed coast by coast and Europe is already gone, Australia remains as the last country to be wiped out. This is where we find James, a young man who just wants to see his last hours out while getting drunk as a skunk and high as a kite with his girlfriend, much to the chagrin of his other girlfriend who wants to wait out the world with him. Along the way to this part to end all parties (quite literally), he encounters a young girl being attacked by paedophiles called Rose, who just wants to get back to her father. Now James has more questions on his plate: party, girlfriend, or fatherhood?
What is so tremendous about These Final Hours is that it paints an incredibly realistic portrayal of our closing moments on this planet of ours. There will be those who go crazy with hysteria, those who turn to religion and those who just want to watch the world burn. Along James’ rather busy afternoon he bumps into a whole host of characters who are all treating the apoloclypse differently. From the very off he is held up by a man with a machete, and this just sets you into what is an incredibly wild 90 minutes. This really comes into play when James arrives at the party he craves, and you will spend the entire time terrified of what will happen next due to the brutality and madness we’ve witnessed already.
But it’s not all thrills and spills. There is an ever-present sense of danger holding over the entire movie due to a huge amount of crazy on the streets, but These Final Hours enforces a real heart and always imparts the importance of family. Even when you have a family as split as James’, this is a movie that will make you want to reach out and get in touch. There are so many heart-warming and heart-breaking moments within These Final Hours, and you will travel on a wave of peaks and troughs from start to end. Had my parents not been backpacking round Europe, I would have called them to tell them I loved them following my exit of the screening.
And this is only exemplified by us following James. Rather than giving us a well-rounded character who looks to do the right thing, Hilditch gives us a massive douchebag who is only looking out for himself. Not only is he a two-timing cheat, he puts other people in danger just so he can get to his own end goal. He’s a complex character, and it’s important that we learn the life lessons he does along with him. We know what he should do, but he needs to learn it for himself – and Hilditch allows this.
Words cannot describe just how emotional and difficult These Final Hours can get. Often at times the words ‘rollercoaster ride of emotion’ are attached to movies, but never have they been truer than with this film. These Final Hours is a superb, fantastic and brilliant movie. It grabs you by the emotional throat, and doesn’t let go until the time is up. A must-see.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.