“With his uneasy playfulness the seemingly fearless director has created an uncomfortable, horrifying and atmospheric tale of redemption.”
These Final Hours is one of the more conceivable apocalyptic genre films of late. Rather than getting caught up in an implausible fantasy of Earth’s gritty expiration it stays grounded and focuses solely on its characters and their predicaments as they come to terms with their inevitable demise.
Jimmy, played by Wolf Creek’s Nathan Phillips, is the main focus of this narrative. He’s given the choice of spending his last hours with his pregnant lover at an isolated beach house or getting off chops with his girlfriend, snorting endless cocaine, smashing back eccys and pissing the day away at a party to end all parties. Desperate not to feel any coming pain, he chooses the party.
On his way, Jimmy saves the life of nine year old Rose who’s been kidnapped by a couple of paedophiles trying to get their sick rocks off before lights out. Jimmy’s conscience gets the better of him and he reluctantly agrees to return Rose to her father and potentially miss out on the party.
These Final Hours is an incredible feature film debut from Perth filmmaker Zak Hilditch. With his uneasy playfulness the seemingly fearless director has created an uncomfortable, horrifying and atmospheric tale of redemption.
A real mix of local and national talent, Hilditch’s cast ensemble is very impressive but it’s the father/daughter style dynamics between his two leads, Phillips and Angourie Rice – yes that’s her name, not a take-away dish – who are the most effective. Their relationship is the emotional force driving the film and audiences will be excused for maybe having to clear something from their eye during some parts of the film.
A movie like this can’t be made without special effects and the ones used here get an A+ for low budget filmmaking – around $2.4 million. As middle class citizens from the outer suburbs of a burning city lose control and slash and shoot each other, the effects are never cringeworthy.
Despite a few unnecessary moments that distracts you from the journey These Final Hours is a winner not only for the film community of Australia but for the city this love letter is written to, Perth.
These Final Hours
Directed by: Zak Hilditch
Starring: Nathan Phillips, Angourie Rice, Daniel Henshall, Jessica De Gouw and the voice of David Field
Review by: Matthew Eeles