June 29, 2015

VOD Review: These Final Hours (2015)

We really want to start this review by saying that there's something about Post-Apocalyptic movies that we just can't get enough of. To be fair though, These Final Hours isn't Post Apocalyptic at all; it's an "Apocalyptic" movie, because there's nothing "Post" about it. The movie is about the final hours before the world ends, so us categorizing this movie as Post Apocalyptic isn't particularly accurate.

Then again, much of the world in which the movie is set already feels as if it's Post Apocalyptic, as many people have killed themselves, become lawless, and in many instances, the dead litter the already-ravaged landscape.

So, maybe Pre-Apocalyptic would be a better term to use here, but we're not creating a new Genre label for it. Not sure why we felt the need to explain all of that. but there it is.

10 minutes ago, a meteor crashed into the North Atlantic, unleashing a fiery death storm upon the world. Europe and most of the Northern Hemisphere have no time to react to their annihilation, but the lucky folks of Australia have about 12 hours to live until they meet the same fate, so, party time, I guess?

James is a douchey scumbag who leaves his pregnant girlfriend to face the impending doom alone, so that he can go to a party with his other girlfriend, and I guess do a bunch of cocaine and stuff before the end. Yeah, he's a peach. On the way to the party though, James spots two creepers dragging a screaming little girl into a house, presumably so that they can spend that last 12 hours of their miserable lives taking turns raping her. Not quite the scumbag that we had originally thought, James rescues the girl, and takes her with him.

The girl's name is Rose, and she's been separated from her Father. James, still wanting to party, at least promises her that he'll find someone responsible to leave her with while he heads for Skank-a-Palooza. Try as he might though, he begins to realize that there's really no one decent to leave the girl with, and slowly... ever so slowly... he begins to think that looking after Rose and helping her get to safety might be a better way to spend his last hours on Earth than partying like an asshole would be.

He's still an asshole, but at least he's trying. The quest for redemption ensues. 

These Final Hours truly blew us away with both its intensity and its emotional depth. This is a quick movie that wastes no time getting to the "Impending Doom" portion of its story, and the ride that it took us on was both terrifying and depressing. This is definitely a bleak movie that played with our emotions. From the start, we knew that the world was ending, and that there was basically no hope that any of the characters would survive, and yet there we were, pulling for them to make it to safety... which was really us pulling for them to find some sort of peace before the inevitable end.

These Final Hours will inevitably be compared to other "End of the World" movies like 4:44 Last Day on Earth, Miracle Mile, or even Melancholia, but for us it was more like The Road (2009) than anything else. Sure, it's about the world ending, but it's really more about a the relationship between self-absorbed James and sweet little Rose that anchors this movie, and that was what ultimately made us love it. Whereas the movie starts off with James trying to get to a party to be with his 2nd girlfriend (what a dick), it turns into him taking on the role of protector for a little girl who is all alone in a world-gone-mad, and him doing his best to get her to safety. So on a deeper level, it's really about a man's redemption, and how it's never too late to change for the better.

We've seen Nathan Phillips before in Genre fare like Wolf Creek, and the U.S. version of The Bridge, but here he really gets to prove how good of an actor he is. James' transition from a selfish asshole into someone who gives a shit about something besides himself felt real to us; that's due to solid writing, but even more so to Phillips' performance. He was really great in this, and we hope it leads to bigger roles for him in the future.

Even better was Angourie Rice's phenomenal performance as Rose. Much like Rose did to James in the movie, Angourie managed to tug at our heartstrings throughout this one. She's honestly one of the better child actors to come along in some time, and if she wants it, she has a bright future ahead of her in front of the camera.

Jessica De Gouw and Sarah Snook were solid in their roles as well, even if they were smaller ones. 

On the negative side, the worst part of the movie for us was knowing that there would be no happy ending for anyone involved. Catharsis, sure, but there would be no last minute, life-saving Deus Ex Machina for the characters, and that sucked because we grew to like them quite a bit. There was one scene in particular that killed us, making us yell "No!" at the screen (we also yelled some other words which we can't mention here, lest we spoil things for you.) It was a great scene, but it killed us. You'll know it when you see it.

These Final Hours is a fantastic, bold movie that we genuinely loved, despite the fact that its story was one steeped in sorrowful hopelessness. I know that makes it sound like it's horrible to sit through, but there's a beauty and emotional depth to the movie that makes enduring its sadder aspects absolutely worth enduring.

If you really want to have yourself a fun Double Feature, watch this one back-to-back with Maggie; just make sure you have some Kleenex handy. And maybe some whiskey.


These Final Hours is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.


We'd gladly spend our final hours with any of these lovely ladies.


  1. Good review and a damn god movie (alhough as an Aussie I'm biased).

    While on the subject of Aussie post- (or peri-) apocalyptics, have you watched 'Cargo' on Youtube from our Tropfest a couple of years back? 7 minutes long and it's seriously wonderful.


    1. That's alright, Oreb, be biased all you like. This movie deserves it!

      I'll have to check out that Cargo short here in a bit. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Let us know what you think of it!