The Decline (2020) A Review

An Icy French Canadian thriller set in the wilderness. Are there really people out there who are this prepared for the end of the world?

Certificate: 15

Director: Patrice Laliberté

Screenwriter: Charles Dionne, Nicolas Krief |

Starring: Marc Beaupré, Réal Bossé, Marilyn Castonguay

Genre: Thriller

Runtime: 83 Minutes

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

After an accident involving explosives at a survivalist training weekend, the people in the camp argue amongst themselves about what to do.  Panic quickly spreads and everyone has to discover how far they are willing to go in order to stay alive as their newly learnt survivalist skills are put to the test.  Survivalist expert Alain will go to any means necessary to protect the base he has set up and to keep the place a secret, including hunting down those who are trying to alert the authorities about what has happened.

It takes a good half of the film for anything to happen that can even remotely be described as a thriller, and even then, it is closer to a low budget, weak plotted slasher flick then a thriller.  The beginning of the film is very slow and I think takes too long to set itself up.  And then shit hits the fan incredibly quickly.  So for me, the pacing of this is all wrong.  The last forty five minutes or so are pretty good once the actual suspenseful, hunting portion of the film begins, but lord does it take it’s time getting here.  And for a film with a runtime this short, it really shouldn’t feel this long.

Alain, played by Réal Bossé is the most interesting character by far.  You can tell from the very beginning that he is slightly unhinged.  The people he is training are all a little paranoid and maybe taking this global warming thing a bit too seriously, but he is genuinely fanatical about it, living as if the world is already on fire, and making all of his decisions based on this mind set.  In doesn’t take much for him to really make some sketchy choices and to be able to justify them easily as just simply surviving, even though that isn’t the case at all.

All the other characters though are fairly bland, and we don’t get much background or development from any of them.  Rachel is the one we get to know the most about, but other then her, the others are all just blank slates, even Antione, our main character doesn’t really have a lot to do.

Not what I would call a thriller at all, this relies on a lot of mild horror tropes to keep the tension going and for the most part I really don’t care about any of the characters, so if/when bad things start to happen to them, it doesn’t really have an emotional impact.  I would also recommend watching this film in it’s original French, rather than the dubbed English, as the acting from the English voice actors is not the best by any means.

I have seen many many better thrillers offered from Netflix recently.  I would recommend you watch any of those instead. 

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