Toronto International Film Festival 2011: ‘The Day’


Director: Doug Aarniokoski

Cast: Shawn Ashmore, Ashley Bell Cory Hardrict, Dominic Monaghan, Shannyn Sossamon

Country: USA

Can a cannibal ever truly be redeemed? For the answer to this Augustinian question I guess you could watch The Day, but it’s probably better to just let that be one of life’s unaswerables. This execrable film follows a group of survivors of some unnamed holocaust as they wander around and try not to get eaten by roving bands of cannibals. The plot is, basically, well, have you ever seen Night of the Living Dead? How about The Road? OK. So, add those together, and then subtract all the subtext, social commentary, scary bad guys, clever script, and character development.

Just as in the first Living Dead, our fearful heroes hole up in an old rundown house in the middle of nowhere. Pretty soon, the baddies come to eat them, they start fighting amongst themselves, and generally do a lot of killing of interchangeable cannibals before the end credits roll. But, just like in The Road, we are long enough after the holocaust (ten years) that a sense of exhaustion has set in, and no one is really scared, exactly, since the big question seems now to be: what is the point to staying alive if this is all there is? Indeed. Featuring a slumming Dominic Monaghan who looks truly bored by his own lines of dialogue.