2013 / Director. Zac Hilditch.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
An asteroid is on a direct course to collide with Earth. Mankind is faced with its final hours and there is no chance of survival. The voice of David Field is broadcast to the Perth area, where the story takes place and we find ourselves riding shot-gun with Nathan Phillips. He has left his girlfriend behind and is on route to an end of the world party where he plans to spend the rest of his time in a drug fuelled state of bliss. To get there he navigates his way through a gauntlet of violence, civil unrest and murder. Baring witness to a little girl being captured by pedophiles he snaps to action and rescues her... and suddenly everything changes. Faced with a responsibility of keeping the girl safe he finds himself confronted with a moral dilemma that will determine how he chooses to live his final hours. I knew the film's premise from the get go, however, I wasn't really prepared for how potent it would be. There are countless apocalypse films to take cues from and THESE FINAL HOURS does dip in to some of the typical conventions. Its story arch is reminiscent of SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD and there are even hints of DEEP IMPACT but the power of this new Australian drama lies in its characters and their circumstances. Nathan Phillips and his 11 year old co-star Angourie Rice deliver sincere and solid performances amidst a volatile landscape of mayhem and depravity. Phillips is no stranger to Australian audiences with a long string of credits to his name (Wolf Creek, One Perfect Day and Under the Radar amongst others) as well as a handful of American films (Snakes on a Plane, Chernobyl Diaries, Surfer Dude etc) but as far as I am concerned THIS is his breakthrough performance. He steps out of his teenage shell and strides right into a new level of maturity that he's rarely ever exposed before. Director Zac Hilditch has created a believable and terrifying world for his characters and the chaos and depravity is striking. The sense of an inevitable doom haunts the film as David Fields' voice broadcasts a literal countdown and update on the state of the world... "Europe. Gone. Canada. Gone. You have six hours people. Live it well. There is no shame in ending it early". The imagery throughout the film is disturbing and it is chilling... and its focus on the human condition rather than elaborate digital FX makes THESE FINAL HOURS an impressive, heartbreaking and realistic drama that packs a punch.