The Day of the Triffids

Year of Release: 2009
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror / Action
IMDB Rating: 5.7 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!


To be honest I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch this. I’ve never read the book and I haven’t seen the 1962 movie or the 1981 series. What drew me to it was a curiosity about how they were going to use 3 hours and make a story that centred around carnivorous, semi-sentient, mobile plants. The result? A very enjoyable way to pass 3 hours if you feel like spending a lazy evening in bed and watching the world go to hell at the roots of the angriest plants to ever scrape themselves across the planet.

Sunglasses everyone!

The world is about to witness something truly spectacular! As the sun reaches its solar maximum the aurora borealis is expected to be seen across the world in cities as far south as New York and large parts of Europe. People from across the world have gathered to witness this spectacular event unfold as the skies turn a beautiful mix of golds and reds and flashing auroras. Unfortunately something goes very wrong and the maximum reaches a level that was not predicted and, as people look on, a massive explosion from the sun makes anyone looking on go blind. London descends into chaos as people stumble through the streets trying to find their way around, cars crash and planes drop out of the sky. But this is just the beginning of the world’s problems (although the script writers seem to have forgotten that half of the planet would have been facing away from the sun, but this isn’t important).

Clean up crew to the crashed aeroplane!

We don’t know where they came from but, with global warming becoming an ever-more evident problem, the Triffids appeared to be the answer to all the world’s problems: with minor genetic modification the domesticated variety of Triffid can be coaxed into producing a limitless supply of oil that can replace fossil fuels and produce absolutely no pollution. What are Triffids? They are plants that appear to be sentient and capable of communication with one another as well as being able to move around on their own. The downside to them? Triffids are carnivorous plants capable of hunting prey with a very nasty temper on them. Usually they are cultivated on specialised farms where the public is kept blissfully unaware of the nastier side to their energy problems and the plants are kept under control by highly-skilled teams of scientists and guards. But with most of the world blind and the power failing across the country the Triffids manage to escape with the help of one lunatic human where they begin their march towards a source of food: London.

Triffids: Like an angry druid with a nasty stinger.

In amongst all this chaos we’re introduced to our two main characters: Dr Bill Masen, a specialist who studies the Triffids, and Jo Playton, a local TV anchor woman. Bill had been stung by a Triffid (which always go for the eyes) the day before the solar storm and as such didn’t see what happened when the world lost its sight. Jo was travelling to a different location to report on the auroras when the storm happened, so she was in the London Underground. They manage to find one another in the midst of London as people try to defend themselves as best they can and with the Triffids edging closer to the city. The Triffids, however, aren’t the only threat to the blind: not everyone who can still see have the most honourable intentions and small enclaves of society begin to set themselves up and try to defend themselves against one another and the Triffids. It’s up to Bill and Jo to try and find a way out of London, avoid being eaten and try to find a way to stop the Triffids before they find their way to the blind population left undefended across the UK.

From what I can tell people who have read the book, seen the original movie or seen the 1981 BBC mini-series were not blown away by this version but if, like me, you’ve never heard of a Triffid and had no idea what one was, this little adaptation is very enjoyable and a great way to pass a rainy afternoon.


  • The entire planet faces the sun at the same time.
  • The warning ‘don’t look into the sun’ should be ignored during a solar storm.
  • There’s always that one person ready to release man-eating creatures loose in order to prove a point.
  • Never trust a nun sending blind people into the woods to ‘found a new ministry’.
  • A native American mask will solve most problems when you’re faced with man-eating plants.


Posted on May 14, 2011, in Awful Level: Surprise! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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