By James Dasvidson
“The Decline” is a French Canadian film that debuted on Netflix this March. It’s a foreign language film and is entirely in Canadian-French, with English subtitles. A group of “Doomsday Preppers” attend a survivalist camp put on by their favorite Youtube survivalist. The camp is at Alain’s (played by Real Bosse) remote bunker, located on his 500 acre property. Alain puts survivalist videos on Youtube that all of the camp attendees follow religiously. The group will learn how to be self-sustaining, grow and hunt for their own food, make their own tools and traps, and how to defend their property in the event of a worldwide catastrophe.
A fatal accident at the camp suddenly splits the survivalists into two parties, each wanting to deal with the situation in different ways. Alain and his group want to cover the accident up to protect Alain’s property, and Antoine (Guillaume Laurin) and Rachel (Marie-Evelyne Lessard) and their group want to call the police and report the accident. The deadly situation becomes even more fatal as Alain and his group turn to deadly measures to protect Alin’s property and privacy.
After I watched the trailer for this movie, I was pretty excited for it. It looked like an exciting thriller with some great action and an interesting plot line. The fact that it was in Canadian-French didn’t bother me much, I enjoy a lot of foreign language films and never had a problem with watching with subtitles before. It is dubbed in English for those who are not fans of watching movies with subtitles. I recommend watching this in the original Candian French with English subtitles though, sometimes the dubbed translations aren’t as accurate as subtitles and can make the dialogue a little off putting.
I loved the idea for the plot of this movie. It was very exciting and suspenseful, it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the action and had me trying to guess what would happen next. My issue wasn’t with the story itself, but with the writing. There were a few scenes and characters that seemed to exist for no reason, or weren’t fully fleshed out. For example, the movie starts out showing Antoine with his wife and daughter and them prepping together, but that’s the last time we see his family and he only mentions them sparingly after that. He is the only one of the group that we get any backstory on, leading me to believe that it was important, but then it seems like the movie just forgets about Antoine’s family. I would have liked to see his family have more impact on the plot. Or I would have liked to have seen a backstory for all of the members of the group and not just Antoine.
There are also several parts of the movie where characters conveniently overlook crucial clues when it fits the story. There are a few scenes where the characters are revealed to be proficient trackers and very aware of their surroundings, but later in the movie, when it fits the plot to make things more suspenseful, those same characters all of a sudden seem incapable of tracking and oblivious to their surroundings.
Even though some of the writing could have been better, the action scenes were very exciting and engaging. All of the action kept me on the edge of my seat and trying to guess what would happen next. The action and suspense almost make up for some lackluster writing and make this movie an enjoyable experience.
This movie is rated TV-MA and has quite a bit of violence, gore and strong language throughout the movie. If you aren’t turned off by strong violence and gore however, this can be quite an enjoyable movie and a fun way to spend an evening at home.
“The Decline” is a fun, suspenseful thriller, with some fantastic action scenes and suspense that will keep you guessing until the end. It does leave a lot to be desired in the writing department however and that makes it an average, but very fun, enjoyable movie. I would watch this movie again, and recommend it to anyone looking for a decent, fun foreign thriller, although there are better foreign language movies on Netflix if you are looking for one. It earns 3 out of 5 stars.