Pandemic themed horrors are here to stay, especially given recent events. But, while a few have managed to reflect the real horror of lockdown, others have faltered. In exploring pandemic themes within a tried and tested zombie format, Final Days sadly sits within the latter. The only remotely engaging segment of director Johnny Martin’s lacklustre horror a brief appearance from Donald Sutherland. Martin’s film is void of any real bite as a troop of bland zombies usher in the apocalypse while Tyler Posey walks around his apartment half-naked.
For a film labelled as a pandemic horror, I found myself far more interested in Tyler’s tattoos than the end of humanity. The ex-Teen Wolf star seemingly using this weak venture as an opportunity to get naked as much as possible. The result of which is an eye-catching but flawed hour and a half of abs and no story. That is not a direct criticism of Posey’s performance, as he does everything possible with the lacklustre screenplay on offer. His ability to hold the screen admirable given the poor story at hand. At the same time, his ripped body will undoubtedly prove enough entertainment for some. But you can’t help but feel all the body shots are a cheap ploy, attempting to cover the tracks of a decidedly weak film by using Posey’s body as a lazy sexual hook.
Waking up next to a random girl, who soon vanishes, Aiden (Tyler Posey) has little recollection of the night before. But, as he pulls his arse out of bed, his morning is about to be disrupted by a commotion outside his flat. Pulling himself together, Aiden opens the curtains only to witness a handful of people running around covered in blood and a helicopter crashing into a nearby highrise.
Now, as I am sure you can imagine, a hangover and apocalypse don’t mix. Still, Aiden quickly pulls himself together as the zombies invade, his freshly bitten neighbour, the first of many zombies to threaten his security. Fearing more zombie neighbours are on their way, Aiden quickly barricades himself in the flat with a fridge. Following this, we spend the next 30 minutes watching Posey’s beard grow as he records a video diary nobody will see. But, just when Aiden is ready to end it all with a makeshift noose, he spots an uninfected girl from his window.
Eva (Summer Spiro) lives in the apartment opposite Aiden, her immaculate hair, makeup and clothes hiding the fact she has no running water, little food and no electricity. Of course, Aiden finds himself immediately transfixed by the young woman, his new mission to protect Eva at all costs with the hope of making babies. But how can he support and woe her when they are separated by a zombie riddled courtyard?
The story that ensues is riddled with plot holes, simplistic dialogue and zombies who never generate an ounce of fear. However, one genuinely interesting sequence could have saved Final Days given more time, scope, and development. In these scenes, Donald Sutherland and Tyler Posey meet unexpectedly in a neighbouring flat, searching for food. The tension of their meeting growing as they attempt to understand each other’s motives. Aiden innocent to the absolute horror Sutherland’s Edward is hiding. These scenes highlight what could have been, introducing an interesting and engaging story arc. However, these themes are quickly discarded in favour of Aiden and Eva’s love story.
Final Days attempt to reflect our current pandemic world within a classic zombie horror format never gets off the ground. Its screenplay a jumble of ideas that never find an authentic voice. While at the same time, the story’s possible horror finds itself trumped by a half-naked Posey and lazy love story that ultimately leads us nowhere.