MV5BMTk4ODgxMDU0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTg0NzcyMDE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_What’s it all about?

The Last Days of Mars, according to IMDb, is about

A group of astronaut explorers [who] succumb one by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars.

In other words: Martian Space Zombies!

Why did I want to watch it?

One of those things really. I was doing something in the kitchen and was flicking through the movie channels to see if there was anything worth watching while I was doing whatever it I was doing and came across a zombie-type attack on Mars. I just love films (and books for that matter) set on Mars so it was a no-brainer to find out when it was being shown next and to record it.

What did I think of it?

If you’re going to watch this sort of thing then a gloomy, wet and windy Sunday afternoon (as it is slowly getting dark) is the perfect setting for a small horror film.

And it wasn’t too bad; a good cast (Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai, Olivia Williams and Elias Koteas for a start), a surprisingly claustrophobic setting (small base on big empty planet), people who’ve been stuck together for six months and keen to get home, and the Unexpected Thing That Happens just as they’re getting ready to leave.

Which of course isn’t that unexpected. As soon as someone breaks protocol to keep their major discovery to themselves you know it’s all going to go pear-shaped. Have none of these people seen Alien?

Things I learned from this movie:

  • never, ever trust anyone who says “Just trust me on this one”
  • the team member with the previous unspecified traumatic incident that no-one talks about is probably going to come through in the end
  • someone will always state the obvious e.g. “this just doesn’t make sense” as previously thought-to-be-dead person comes back to life
  • the person who appears not to be seriously injured almost certainly is, and will go to great pains to hide the fact
  • it’s a good idea to check that everyone, but everyone, is accounted for before you go into the apparently abandoned main base, in the dark

Like I said, not too bad, half the team trying to be stoic under significant provocation while the other half is falling to pieces all over the place. And they were all a bit horrible to Olivia Williams’ stroppy female scientist who might have been a pain but who was absolutely right at every single stage.

And I thought the climax was a bit of a cop-out. I think the director was trying for something open and ambiguous, leaving it up to us to decide what was going to happen, but it all seemed a bit too much of a “not sure how to finish it, let’s just do this” ending.

But seriously not that bad, and a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Assuming you like Martian space zombies, of course 🙂