DVD Review: One Hundred Mornings / Cert: 15 / Director: Conor Horgan / Screenplay: Conor Horgan / Starring: Alex Reid, Ciaran McMenamin, Rory Keenan, Kelly Campbell, Robert O'Mahoney / Release Date: Out Now
Filmed in 2009, this low-budget Irish apocalyptic drama is only now seeing the light of day on DVD and sure enough, like most European end-of-the-world fare, this is light years away from the feel good fantasy nature of America’s big brash offerings in the genre. One Hundred Mornings is relentlessly bleak and pessimistic; it’s cold, grey and muddy and its protagonists look as if they’re just waiting for the inevitable as they slide further and further away from the comforts of civilisation.
It’s a simple enough scenario. Some nameless catastrophe (and we never find out what it is) has brought Mankind to its knees. Two couples are rubbing along together in a small cabin in the picturesque Irish countryside, grubbing for food and living on supplies they’ve squirreled-away. They’re occasionally visited by a couple of increasingly-ineffectual officers from the Garda at the nearby village and their next door neighbour is outwardly friendly but fiercely protective of his own territory and his own rights. The quartet get along well enough but slowly the relationship starts to disintegrate as infidelities, insecurities and jealousies rise to the surface, vying for attention with the constant quest for food and comfort. Meanwhile the outside world is slowly closing in as desperate outsiders start to terrorise them and the Garda officers begin to overstep their dubious authority.
Lovers of fast-paced, lively action movies will want to step away from One Hundred Mornings immediately - there’s nothing for them here. This is an intense, brooding, minimalist character piece. There’s a festering resentment between the foursome and the script’s sparse, terse dialogue perfectly complements a film which is all about mood and atmosphere, the main characters ostensibly trapped in an apparently-idyllic environment which affords them the barest of protection against whatever horrors the outside world holds. Occasionally the group wanders into the nearby village which is itself falling apart; debris strewn across the street, abandoned cars, burning braziers - and hardly any other people to maintain the veneer of civilisation.
Despite its lack of dynamic forward motion - the group chasing a stray sheep is really the closest we get to an action sequence - 100 Mornings is an absorbing, if inexhaustibly downbeat, piece of work and, like the very best apocalyptic fiction, it doesn’t offer much hope or optimism for a better future for those who are left standing at the end. In many ways this is a companion piece to last year’s underrated Perfect Sense and it’s about as far removed from the likes of 2012 andThe Day After Tomorrow as it’s possible to get and it’s all the better for it.
Special Features: None