Six people, Antoine (Guillaume Laurin) who we start with among them, attend a Bear Grylls esque survival camp in a cold and isolated part of Quebec, Canada to learn how to prepare for and survive the forthcoming apocalypse. However society’s destruction is brought about – by war, global warming, or a virus – Alain (Réal Bossé) will teach these six preppers how to feed, defend and sustain themselves. Everything seems to be going to plan then tragedy befalls the group, panic quickly sets in and blood soaked chaos ensues.
The Decline, the first Netflix Quebec production, shows promise but is ultimately slightly entertaining but very predictable fare. The slow, sure footed start raises the tension nicely as the group learn about each other and how to track, hunt, and make bombs. The freezing cold surrounds and the austere lifestyle give off a similar atmosphere of bleak isolation as The Thing. This promising build up results in the expected ball of flames in the second half as their mini society collapses around them.
Then a high speed game of cat and mouse follows, as peoples real selves and primal instincts shine through. This is where director Patrice Laliberté picks up the pace, as people get tracked, bullets and fists fly and vengeance and fear run rampant. It is certainly eventful but it is treading such a well worn path – think Rambo or Predator – which it so doggedly sticks to that it unfortunately comes across as sterile. It is also dubbed over in English which is an unwelcome distraction, I would have much preferred the French original but with subtitles.
There is some fun to be had in this brisk 83 minute thriller but any entertainment provided will quickly fade from the memory, it has been done before and done better. If it is a high octane cat-and-mouse thriller you want rewatch The Fugitive.