Film Reviews

"The Day" Delves Mysteriously Into a Postapocalyptic World

You don't always need to know the specific circumstances that precede the events of a postapocalyptic film, but the unexplained, history-ending catastrophe in Douglas Aarniokoski's The Day precipitated some pretty contradictory conditions on the ground. Apparently, there is no food? Except that the film's healthy-looking group of survivors trudges through fertile Ontario countryside abounding with wheat grass, bluestem, aspens, and freshwater creeks. But most of the film is color-corrected to nearly black-and-white, so the future seems pretty grim, chromatically. Dominic Monaghan, as the team's shift supervisor, carries two Mason jars of seeds and is presumably looking for just the right spot for an organic garden. To be fair, he would prefer that spot to be unpopulated by insane cannibals. Speaking of! After the group takes shelter inside a creepy abandoned house, they're beset by humans who seem normal, if assholish, but who have unexplainably taken to hunting and eating uncooked human flesh—as opposed to, let's say, cultivating food in the obviously verdant countryside. This Night of the Living Dead siege of the house comprises the bulk of the film. Monaghan does a decent job of burying his Manchester dialect under an American accent except, hilariously, when he has to hoot the word "food." And Ashley Bell stands out as a Heroic Fighter With a Dark Secret. Harbor only the expectations aroused by a production of WWE Studios and don't get too attached to any hobbits. 84 Minutes. Rated R.

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Chris Packham is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.