Like any zombie film worth its salt, Endzeit, directed by Carolina Hellsgård and written by Olivia Vieweg, isn’t just about running away from the undead. There are some deeper issues being tackled with a couple of gruesome images along the way to make things fun.
On a macro level, Endzeit, or Ever After, is a story that deals with the question of whether or not humans deserve to live on earth anymore. Some characters in the film feel that humans have failed to pay the rent to mother earth and that the zombie plague is the eviction notice. Other’s feel that the plague is simply nature’s way of introducing the next stage of living on earth. A chaos that will ultimately produce peace.
On a more personal level, Gro Swantje Kohlhof plays the lead character, Vivi, who struggles with an internal conflict. Vivi, unlike most characters in the movie, does not have a strong opinion on what the plague means. She’s almost frozen with guilt over her little sister’s absence. Endzeit represents her struggle with wanting to get off the bench, so to speak, as her journey unfolds from one city, Weimar, where the infected are killed off right away, to Jena, where the citizens are trying to come up with a cure. Vivi’s gradual desire to leave an almost fatalist attitude behind, in a town that essentially gives up, in hopes of making it to a city that wants to fight for human life is one of the cleverer aspects of this film.
Vivi is accompanied by Eva, played by Maja Lehrer, who has a much stronger conviction. Maja’s motivation helps drive Vivi, and the film in general. Whether or not you agree with her stance on the plague also creates a deeper way to connect with the film and elevates the story.
Overall, Endzeit has substantial ideas to mull over after you’ve seen the film along with some haunting, and gory scenes for the horror crowd. It’s sure to please fans of the genre and perhaps convert a couple detractors.