WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
First, the Recap:
The aftermath of cataclysm. Events that shake the very foundations of the world and its surroundings, made all that more real when loss of those close to us, even for the sake of our own well-being, haunts every living day. Such is the reality for Claire (Vania Vieta), a young woman whose survival against a zombie apocalypse was made better in having the presence of her mother, Jill (Arlyn Guzman). But when harsh circumstances and a fatal choice forced the two apart, Claire found herself on her own, desperately missing their connection. Now striving to survive solo, Claire’s wanderings bring her to a house, seemingly abandoned until entering, which reveals a woman named Veronica (Annie Jones).
Startled and suspicious, Veronica insists all is safe away from the zombie threat, giving a sense of ease to Claire. But, the mood severely changes as Veronica begins telling a harrowing tale of her abusive husband Albert (Richard Sosa) and their daughter Alexia (Lauren Parker), the latter becoming victim of another devastating choice, and the subsequent chaos that ensued afterwards. Realizing all is not well with Veronica, Claire reluctantly agrees to stay the night, but is then roused by noises that reveal Shelly (Katie Mackey), a scientist held hostage in the home, who reveals an even darker secret about Veronica and her son, Steve (Ethan Jones). The events occurring from there turn a quiet home into a house of horrors.
Next, my Mind:
For this reviewer, it is already a stretch at times when it comes to the horror genre. But, then within that resides the zombie-related fare, which under normal circumstances I totally tend to stay away from. However, it is always a pleasant surprise when a film comes along that becomes an exception, and such is the case with writer/director/editor Jonathan Vargas’ 17-minute short film effort. Substituting much of what people normally might expect in a zombie film (ie: tons of blood/gore, exploding heads, brain eating, etc) for a much more creepy, menacing atmosphere, events portrayed very effectively set up the film’s admittedly bloody finale. But again, here, it all doesn’t feel gratuitous or over-the-top, but rather emphasizes the true nature of terror and sinister intent the film’s narrative desires. The stark black & white cinematography also aids in providing the film’s edgy, freaky tone.
Vieta does a fine job as Claire, a woman whose sense of compassion and hesitancy to take certain actions in the past has been both a blessing and a curse, having lost someone dear to her who, even in the most dire of circumstances, she refused to do to what most others would have. The keen sense of caution and awareness that Claire has due to all of these factors makes her tough and attuned for danger, which Vieta performs well. Annie Jones absolutely excels as Veronica, an unassuming woman on the surface until the much, much more disturbing, disquieting side comes pouring out. Jones just chews up scenery in enacting this unhinged woman’s backstory and current machinations that are, suffice it to say, more than nasty. Watching the two actresses play these characters against each other is certainly entertaining and fun to view.
Equally integral supporting turns are provided in good, flashback-based measure by Guzman, Sosa, and Parker, while Mackey and Ethan Jones provide equally key roles that more than put a exclamation point on the narrative’s scary twist. In total, “Our Final Days Together, Part 2”, being a sequel to Vargas’ 2016 installment of the same name, presents a wonderfully executed zombie flick that takes the concept to a more palatable but still chilling, unnerving place that should satisfy both fans of the genre as well as gain new fans like myself.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!