A low budget, Canadian post-apocalyptic horror directed by Douglas Aarniokoski, The Day stars Shawn Ashmore, Ashley Bell, Shannyn Sossamon, Dominic Monaghan & Cory Hardrict as a group of survivors forced to defend themselves from a tribe of cannibals.
The world is in ruins (sort of) by some sort of post-apocalyptic event, one that is never explained or explored. It’s an interesting idea as it certainly creates an air of mystery to the proceeding events. A group of survivors have been on the road for an indefinite amount of time where it’s revealed there were far more of them once upon a time.
The goal is simple. Find somewhere safe where they can live & plant the seeds they’ve been carrying. This is what the leader Rick (Monaghan) wants, a man who hasn’t quite given up hope yet. This positive nature is what drives the rest forward even if the likes of Adam (Ashmore) have lost all hope.
In flashbacks we see that Adam’s wife was killed while he scavenged through a house an indeterminate time ago. He has struggled to get past this, filled with anger & hate. His survival is no longer that important but he sticks with the group none the less.
They chance upon a house that appears to be deserted so decide to hole up there for a bit while one them who is sick, rests. It’s while checking out the basement of the house that they discover hordes of supplies. Over-excited they don’t stop to think about how or why there is so much untouched supplies so end up activating a trap.
A trap that kills one of them & sounds a really loud alarm that can be heard for miles…by anyone. Survival is now about battening down the hatches & fighting off the incoming hordes of cannibals but is the biggest threat actually within the group?
The Day has a lot going for it. The grimy filming style fits perfectly with the low budget style & the post-apocalyptic world. The acting is great with Shawn Ashmore in particular doing a memorable job. Character-wise, we’re not seeing anything new here but everyone throws their all into the roles & the group’s relationships are extremely believable. Without showing it, you’ll believe that they have been travelling together for weeks or months.
The lack of details in regards to what happened to the world doesn’t frustrate as the film isn’t about that. It’s about this particular group & the events that see them forced to stand up to an enemy that is brutal & unrelenting. Cannibals might be a bit disappointing to some but ultimately, they are just a product of this post-apocalyptic world too.
While most are just faces in the crowd, a couple get to flex their acting muscles proving to be sinister & evil villains.
The movie builds nicely towards a huge confrontation & pays it off well. This isn’t a story that’s going to leave you feeling good but it certainly satisfies.