The hungry (Les affamés)

One of the most valuable aspects of A Place in Silence was the way in which John Krasinski escalated a story of overflowing suspense based on a strong visual language. This predominance of the image was due to two causes: the deafness of the older daughter of his character (a family man trying to keep their loved ones safe) and the fact that the alien invaders hunted their prey through the more minimal noise. Another hand-crafted film with no dialogues, thriller inputs and science fiction is The Hungry (Les affamés), French-Canadian production, an incubator of horror within the subgenre of zombies but from the perspective of auteur cinema.

Robin Aubert writes and directs the story of a group of survivors of a small town in Québec, where something - the dystopian origin is never explained - causes the conversion of human beings into fast and hungry cannibal beasts and automatons that respond only to the instinct of hunting. To survive, these children (Charlotte St-Martin), "comic" men (Marc-André Grondin), reckless women (Monia Chokri), elderly mourners (Micheline Lanctôt), among others, make up an incipient community, as survival alone It seems impossible.

Among them are formed those affective bonds that can only be formed from a traumatic experience, from a life or death scenario. However, the filmmaker also crumbles the mistrust in the other who could be bitten, the murder of loved ones - either out of fear or mercy - the abandonment of the defenseless when all that is left is to flee, and the paranoia, companions unavoidable of an apocalyptic reality.

However, praises the sacrifice-that quality of the human that prevails until the last moment before ceasing to exist or succumb to the bite of others, or mourning, as one of the characters says: "When you wake up and the first thing you do is to kill someone, you know that the world is another".

But unlike certain films of the subgenre, ironically eaten away by the cliché of the survivors wrapped in a halo of hope, that of the hungry is a pessimistic view, since transformation or death seems to be a matter of time. The undeniable paradox of his film is that despite the atmosphere of existential desolation uses the figure of the child as a symbol of the future, because it is there, in innocence, where the best of humanity is concentrated. Alfonso Cuarón did the same in Los niños del hombre, another story set in a ruined world.

While it leaves some unknowns open and the design of the zombies is conventional - they are as fast as those of Danny Boyle in Extermination, for example -, The hungry does not fall into the farce of the free scares emanating from abrupt sound effects, as the Silence is your greatest ally, just like that of the characters. They can not make noise, they should not attract attention and they need to limit their parliaments to the minimum necessary.

Even the constant use of the fixed plane and the foreground give it an intimate surrounding element. There are a couple of scenes of undeniable genius in which a flying camera rises through the air at an angle and takes the trees that make up the forest where the hecatomb is safeguarded. In the distance it seems a peaceful sight, but suddenly we hear the terrified clamor of new victims who bring us back to reality: the pandemic and death remain.

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