The Day review

I must say that it is somewhat refreshing to watch a post-apocalyptic movie that has no zombies. Don’t get me wrong. I love zombies. I also love zombie movies, from the very best to the tragically worst, but it’s also nice to be taken outside of that realm once in a while.

Being a life-long fan of wrestling, I’ve seen the coming attractions for this WWE Studios feature more times than I can count on both hands and feet, but I certainly didn’t expect a copy of it to come my way as an assignment from Horror News Network. That being said, I was genuinely excited when it was handed to me. This is the first feature from WWE Studios to contain no wrestlers from the WWE roster, which I found to be very appealing. Nothing against professional wrestlers or anything, but I just prefer for them to keep their acting to the ring. This is most likely due to repressed emotional scarring brought about as a child by the movie No Holds Barred. Who knows?

The Day is set about ten years after wars have ravaged the planet, leaving it virtually uninhabitable. We meet up with five survivors. Adam, Henson and Rick have all been friends since they were kids. Shannon has been with them for a while and they have bonded to the point where she considers the three as her family. Mary is the newest member of the group.

The five have been wandering the countryside, aiming to get as far to the south as possible in order for Rick to plant the seeds he has been carrying so that they will have a sustainable food supply. Unfortunately they need to find a temporary means of shelter as Henson’s health is waning, possibly due to pneumonia. This shelter comes in the form of an abandoned farm house which, while it has seen better days, seems to serve its current function well.

While Henson is laid out on a couch to rest and hopefully recuperate, Rick and Adam investigate the rest of the house and the two women set out in the surrounding area in hopes of tracking some food, despite stating that they haven’t seen another live animal in a long time. While Shannon and Mary are out, Rick and Adam end up in the basement and believe they’ve stumbled upon a treasure trove of canned goods and they call for Henson to come down and help them bring the find upstairs. Their rejoicing is soon cut short as they realize that the entire house is just a trap for “hunters.” Or as you and I would call them: cannibals.

Some of the hunters come back to the trap house and after a brief standoff most of them are killed. This sets the pace for the rest of the movie. The small group of survivors knows that more hunters are coming for them and that they have two options. The first option is to leave the house and try to escape the area before the hunters track them down and make a meal of them. The second option is to fortify the farm house and fight to the death. After realizing they’d be almost certainly dead on the outside, they decide to fight it out. Emotions are quickly put on red alert in the ensuing 24 hours worth of chaos.

One aspect of this movie that I thought was absolutely brilliant was the abundant use of black and white film, sometimes almost sepia in quality. Only during brief flashbacks do we see a colorful world that used to be somewhat full of life. Outside of that we are thrust into the bleak desolation that the world would become ten years after cataclysmic warfare would leave it infertile and unwelcoming to mankind. The most horrific, terrifying element of the movie is seeing how vast and bland the world would become just ten years after humanity is reduced to nearly nothing. Trying to put one’s self into the shoes of a survivor trying to squeeze out a meaningful existence in that landscape is sure to cause some kind of anxiety in even the most highly trained survivalist.

In a lawless, unforgiving world, we begin with five people who have already endured tremendous hardship yet managed to somehow stay alive. As this once wide open world begins to rapidly close in upon them, we watch as their collective sense of humanity is broken down into its most carnal form. Friendships are forged while others are tested. Self-preservation becomes the ultimate goal but in the end can there ever really be a triumph? Watch The Day and the next time you have to wait in line for groceries, or anything else for that matter, be thankful that you still have that ability.

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