One thing that can be said for this movie is that it does have the thrill factor, and it is a decent idea, but it feels as though too much focus is given to the main character, Juliette, and her night-long fight against what is known as a reaper, a mutated creature that is the result of an epidemic that never really gets a solid explanation, but is thrust upon the audience in a manner that says ‘take it or leave it’.
Juliette is supposedly a hardened veteran survivor that is able to walk into a broken-down motorhome to kill a single reaper, as it has already gutted the former owner of the vehicle. The understanding of this movie is that Juliette is on the lookout for supplies that she needs to bring back to whatever base she reports to, as the first part of the movie sees her in a gas station poring over whatever might be left.
However the epidemic happened, it’s kind of obvious that it devastated the world and left nearly nothing in its wake, no doubt from whatever looting took place. But when Juliette hears a noise in a false ceiling above her, she quickly exits the station and moves on.
The reapers are creepy, there’s no doubt about it, especially since they’re so dangerous.
Juliette’s initial encounter with a reaper in the gas station doesn’t happen to come about as she makes an exit before the creature can attack her, but it’s possible that the creature that finds her in the wasteland is the same beast.
The creatures are terrifying since the way they sound and the fact that they appear emaciated and don’t look like they could threaten anyone. But their strength and their ferocity are proven rather quickly after having an accident that is, honestly, kind of dumb since it comes as a result of Juliette trying to keep a picture of herself and her former husband from flying out the window when a gust of wind catches it.
Out of all the car accidents that have occurred in the movies, this is one of the most inane since it would have been easier to stop and retrieve the picture rather than roll the vehicle and break her leg.
Juliette comes off as one of the least likable protagonists ever.
From her brash manner to the flashbacks that show her as one of the most difficult individuals ever, Juliette is a hard person to like since she starts out as a drug addict that Jack, the man who becomes her husband, tries to save at one point. Many would likely say that it’s tough to accept an addict and even to help them change their habits, but Jack is a very patient man, and in bringing her to his home, she manages to clean up and even entertain the thoughts of a family.
Unfortunately, she has a miscarriage, and their marriage falls apart. It’s not hard to understand how or why these flashbacks are happening during the movie since Jack was her love and inspiration, but it’s also important to realize that his final lesson to her before he was exposed to a strange gas explosion near the end of the movie, to never give up. Still, it’s not easy to like this woman since she’s not only belligerent at times, but she isn’t the wisest person living in a post-apocalyptic world.
The overnight ordeal is interesting, but it could have been better.
It would appear that the reapers are worse at night than they are in the day, meaning that perhaps they’re nocturnal and have some special advantage in the dark that they don’t have in the daylight. When Juliette calls for backup, it becomes a little too obvious that no one wants to mess with the reapers at night since the rescue mission that was to take place is called off when it’s made clear that a reaper is in the area. This means that Juliette is on her own when it comes to facing the insanely tough and deadly creature, and with a broken leg, it’s tough to think that she would be able to survive the night.
Somehow she does make it to morning, especially after shooting the creature that was keeping her hemmed in. But when the dying creature performs a certain gesture that is known to Juliette, she recognizes it as Jack, who has somehow been mutated into a reaper. The story ends shortly after she places her revolver on the creature’s head, holding her own head close so that the shot will pass through them both.
There’s a lot of backstory needed for this movie.
The epidemic isn’t clear, the reason why people turned in reapers isn’t clear, and above all, how Juliette and her unseen band of fellow survivors made their way through the world is unclear. If anything, this story asks for a lot of faith while giving only the barest hint of what happened to create this tale.
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