4 00 DAYS

The in­die apoc­a­lyp­tic sci- fi thriller where noth­ing is quite what it seems

SFX - - Red Alert -


1 But the movie is to­tally Earth- bound. Bran­don Routh, Caity Lotz, Ben Feld­man and Dane Cook play a quar­tet of trainee space- folk who are locked in an un­der­ground sim­u­la­tor for 400 days to em­u­late the ef­fects of be­ing on a space­ship. Routh says, “It’s an in­trigu­ing premise to un­der­stand what would hap­pen to four wannabe as­tro­nauts in those con­di­tions who are al­lowed ab­so­lutely no con­tact with the out­side world.”


2 Two of the as­tro­nauts start to hal­lu­ci­nate and things get strained be­tween Routh’s char­ac­ter, Theo, and Emily ( Lotz), who had bro­ken off their en­gage­ment just prior to start­ing the ex­er­cise. “The sim­u­la­tor it­self isn’t very large and the set was white and ster­ile, like a space­ship,” says Routh. “We shot the en­tire movie over 21 days so it was quite in­ti­mate for the cast and crew in there! And very claus­tro­pho­bic.”


3 Mid­way through the ex­er­cise the as­tro­nauts lose most of their power and hear huge boom­ing noises from above, and con­tact with mis­sion con­trol fails. Ven­tur­ing out­side they find that some kind of apoc­a­lyp­tic event has oc­curred… but is it all part of the sim­u­la­tion? Routh says, “While we were film­ing, di­rec­tor Matt Oster­man was very tight- lipped about what was real and what wasn’t, which meant the cast were hav­ing to

make up their own minds as we went along. Was it all part of the ruse? Had it re­ally hap­pened?”


4 One nearby town seems to have sur­vived the dev­as­ta­tion – if it’s re­ally hap­pened – but the towns­folk are sus­pi­cious, men­ac­ing and ul­ti­mately threat­en­ing. Does Routh think such a sit­u­a­tion would bring out the worst of hu­man na­ture? “Hav­ing a fam­ily I un­der­stand the ra­tio­nale to want to pro­tect your­self and your loved ones first and fore­most, but I’d hope that even­tu­ally peo­ple would work to­gether for the greater good. I’m an eter­nal op­ti­mist!”


5 The strength of the movie is its hal­lu­ci­na­tory para­noia. “Has there re­ally been a disas­ter? Are the towns­folk part of the sim­u­la­tion? Are they even real?” says Routh. “It was a fun film to make, with a great cast and crew, but it’s very in­tense.” And no su­per­heroics for the man who played Su­per­man and now DC sta­ble­mate the Atom? “No,” laughs Routh. “There is ac­tion and fight­ing but it’s a dif­fer­ent style… real, grim and gritty.”

400 Days is re­leased on DVD on 23 May.

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