Year: 2011
Production Co: Caligari Film-und Fernsehproduktions
Director: Tim Fehlbaum
Writer: Tim Fehlbaum/Oliver Kahl/Thomas Wöbke
Cast: Hannah Herzsprung, Lisa Vicari, Lars Eidinger, Stipe Erceg

It's a little bit Dawn of the Dead in its method of zeroing in on one random group of strangers in the midst of a global apocalypse, but while Hell is a good idea and looks good on screen, the proceedings drag a little bit.

The German production introduces a man and two women, Phillip (Lars Eidinger), Marie (Hannah Herzsprung) and her younger sister Leonie (Lisa Vicari), driving across a sun-blasted landscape, the windows of the car boarded up to keep the heat and blinding light out.

Some environmental or astronomical collapse that's not explored much beyond and opening title card has caused the sun to become a killer, slowly wiping out all life on Earth and leaving the last few survivors struggling to find resources and stay out of each other's way after the anarchic collapse of society (much like any other cinematic catastrophe).

When they stop at a petrol station to try and find some fuel, they're set upon by Tom (Stipe Erceg), who tries to steal their stuff before Phillip fights him off. It leads to an uneasy truce between the foursome and they go on their way together, trying to reach the mountains where it's rumoured a clean water spring can still be found.

But when they get there the mountains don't hold out much hope either. The vegetation is dying off and a roving gang that can only be bad news is holed up at a camp, probably eager to get their hands on both the water and the young girls in the party.

When Leonie is kidnapped by the gang, Marie finds she has to align herself more with Tom when Phillip turns out to be a coward. They hatch a plan to get Leonie back that leads them further into the forest, coming across what appears to be a farm populated by kindly folk who want to help newcomers, but if you've ever watched The Walking Dead you know where that's going.

The story's a bit on the slow side and there aren't many surprises, a lot of nods to other movies and genre tropes. Narratively it ends up little more than another The Hills Have Eyes /zombiedom-style thriller that just happens to have an ecological rather than a horror movie disaster as the plot catalyst.

The cinematography and design are pretty good at portraying the world of the story too, turning the exposure of the camera way up and scattering the film with the cobbled-together artefacts for a world where the sun has become dangerous.

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