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8.11.13

WRITTEN REVIEW: 7th Day

By CORY CARR
It wasn’t too long ago that we at Slaughter Film shared our thoughts on 7th Day, back when we first saw it at this years Eerie Horror Film Festival. A brief chat during a podcast is fine, but why not do the film justice and treat it to a full written review? Well, here it is.

Over the period of one week, we, the viewer, accompanied by a faceless interviewer, follow Allen Dean. Allen is an isolated forty-something year old man who washes dishes for a living, He mostly keeps to himself, less out of circumstance but out of necessity. Allen prides himself as a bit of an artist, and his canvas is murder.

Filmed similarly to a documentary, “we” follow Allen from one day to the next through his daily routine, which is a rather meek existence. He stalks, tortures, rapes, murders and eats both men and women as he explains to the faceless interviewer the logic and rational behind the killing of people and how he selects his victims.


Early on, Allen explains that “If you asked most people to picture a killer, the would probably envision some kind of a raving lunatic, but the fact is, I’m perfectly sane. Despite my hobby, I have a normal life, I’m stable, I’m well liked, I have a steady job and I do good work.”. See, Allen is just an “average Joe”, a regular blue collar, beer drinkin’ kinda guy. We all enjoy meeting new people right? Allen just likes when these new people wear all their blood on the outside. Who can argue with that, am I right?… Right?…

As things play out we start to see that Allen’s life isn’t quite what as he makes it seem. He speaks highly of himself. Carrying on about how others couldn’t understand him or his work. How average people don‘t see things as clear as he, and through his work he helps them “feel”. Someday he will create a masterpiece that will make him famous. Allen never says just what this “masterpiece” will be, but the film implies that he doesn’t really even know himself.

The first time we see Allen’s life not measuring up to his view of it, is when he talks about Denise, a attractive younger co-worker, and how great she is, how the two of them share some unspoken connection and that someday the two will share a relationship together. The truth is Denise is disgusted by Allen and it is painfully obvious to everyone but Allen.

As a side note, I couldn’t help but laugh at Denise when Allen greets her at work. The expression on Denise’s face is that universal, “did I just walk into a fart” kinda face. It’s perfect.

While Allen continues to take lives and express personal philosophy we watch him get ridiculed at work, strike out with women, when he isn’t trying to kill them, and hide form neighbors as he retreats deeper into his murderous and deranged fantasy world. We also learn a few things about his family and childhood that I’ll let you discover yourself. I don’t want to spoil all the terrible goodies.


Allen & his faceless reporter.

Around the fifth or six day things start to get hectic for poor Allen. The control and purpose that he insisted made him successful in his hobby begins to crumble. The breaking and entering of a neighbors house draws the police to his home for questioning, and this makes him even more paranoid.

As if his sanity weren’t in question from the beginning of the film, Allen starts to slip. He starts receiving advice from one of his victims as she speaks to him through his television.

The film climaxes when Allen starts to question his murdering art form and life’s purpose.

THE VERDICT
Admittedly, 7th Day isn’t a suspense packed thriller, or an off the rails splatter flick. The film’s strength happens to lay in Allen’s psyche. While most of the dialogue in the film comes from Allen’s inner monologue, as if he were being interviewed, it offers up some insight into how a killer might think.

From Allen’s anti-social behavior, to the delusional fantasies he has about the relationship he and Denise share, to his justification of his actions, torture, murder, cannibalism and necrophilia. His fantasy extends to the false self-image he displays while explaining to the interviewer that he doesn’t kill because he is a raving lunatic. To Allen it’s a sort of art form that one day people will recognize and revere him for.

Allen is detached from reality, and becomes even more so by the seventh day, finally turning into the mad man he was convinced that he wasn’t at the beginning of the film.

These are things that I could imagine hearing come from a real life convicted serial killer while he talks to his court appointed shrink, and that is what makes 7th Day so great. It is firmly rooted in unsettling reality.


"He's right behind you, look out!", why do they never listen?

An interesting thing about Allen that I noticed was that for some reason he seemed fascinated with the three dimensional cube shape. He draws it countless times and even constructs a wire frame model of the shape. The third dimension adds depth and form to the less complicated square, similar to Allen offering up explanation for his killing. Turning a simple self-loathing murder into some sort of artist-martyr. But that’s just my interpretation.

Psychology students would have a field day psycho-analyzing Allen’s life.

Being told from this unique, first person point of view, the film tends to be a bit on the slow side. However, if 7th Day was spiced up with some traditional slasher movie “cat and mouse” chase, the film would suffer for it. The casting, acting and writing are spot on. An unshaven Mark S. Sanders, V/H/S 2, plays a very convincing Allen.

7th Day is fascinating and uncomfortable to watch, but I recommend that you do if you have the chance! It’s touring the festival circuit right now, but I’m sure you’ll see it at your local Red Box or on Netflix before too long. Oh, and do me a favor. If you ever find yourself thinking any of the things that Allen says, go see a fuckin’ doctor!

7TH DAY

★ ★ ★ ½

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