What if one day in the near future, a significant portion of the population decided to start hunting, killing, and eating the rest of humanity? What if they were so successful that no government or military was able to stop them and in the course of events, these predators managed to wipe out most of the population of the Earth? Sound too implausible? Then you’re already halfway to my big criticisms for The Day.
Set over the course of 24 hours in a post-apocalyptic world, The Day tells the story of a small group of survivors trying to fend off the ever-present predators. Taking shelter in an abandoned farm house, the gang soon discovers they’ve wandered into a trap and their careful attempts to avoid those hunting them are ruined to the point where they have to finally face their enemy and fight to survive.
The problem is that the above synopsis is not at all possible to me. So, it’s impossible for me to suspend my disbelief and actually make some steps toward caring about any of these characters. The audience is given no explanation for how the world has managed to come to this. It’s very difficult to imagine how our world could become this wasteland in the presumably near future. In addition, there’s no explanation for why the predators went insane in the first place. The whole movie feels like a series of “wouldn’t it be cool if…” moments that plague a lot of the worse action and horror movies because they detract from any sense of realism or believability.
The cast is adequate here. Shawn Ashmore (X-Men) is the main character, trying to keep the surviving members of his group alive. Shannyn Sossamon and Ashley Bell then compete for the leading lady spot. If the story had progressed longer than a day, it would have probably felt like Bell was the love interest of Ashmore’s character, but any development there gets cut short. Sossamon is Rick’s (Dominic Monaghan; Lost) girlfriend and in a world of death and cannibalism, she’s probably the least likeable character. Her character wants are obvious and clichéd and even though she’s among the survivors, it’s difficult to root for her as her continued short-sightedness throughout the film begins to weigh heavily on the audience’s patience.
All of the predators have pretty small parts, but their leader (Michael Eklund) achieves a memorable performance through the characters of his children. The daughter, Ava (Kassidy Verreault) is especially interesting as her character grows more significant to the story in the final scenes.
No special features on the DVD. It is a visually oriented film, even though everything in it is visually bleak and disgusting. That being said, it would probably be a good idea to pick it up on Blu-ray if you have the option.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment on November 27.