These Final Hours (2013)

(On DVD, February 2017) If you’re looking for the proverbial “gem in the DVD bargain bin”, then stop looking as soon as you see These Final Hours, because it ends up being a surprisingly successful apocalyptic thriller despite being found at the local dollar store. A low-budget Australian production, this is a film that nonetheless deals with weighty issues, as the characters live out the last ten hours of life on Earth after a meteor collision. Our protagonist starts the film as a typical cad, eager to leave pregnant Girlfriend #1 to go to an end-of-the-world party with Girlfriend #2. When he comes across a young girl being assaulted by thugs, he reluctantly does the right thing … and finds himself inconvenienced into taking care of her. A road movie through suburban Perth as the end of the world makes everyone go crazy, These Final Hours grows more interesting as it goes. Writer/director Zak Hilditch is able to bring his story threads together in an impressive whole. By the end of the film, having done through a spectrum of intense emotions, we’re struck by the beauty of the apocalypse and characters finding inner peace through the people they choose to die with. It’s disarming in the way lowered expectations can lead to great movie-watching experiences. I suspect that the film will be far more efficient for viewers with families as it runs through possible scenarios on how to deal with an extraordinary scenario.

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