Da Sebenth Dae.
The Seventh Day is one of the numerous films in my Redbox backlog that I’ve been taking far too long to get to. Released in 2021, The Seventh Day incorrectly bills itself as a horror movie. It is without a doubt not a horror movie. Like an artificially flavored Coca Cola, while there are hints of kola nut horror flavor in the hour and a half long drink, there is no genuine horror kola and I should’ve stopped trying to force this food analogy before it started.
The movie stars Vadhir Derbez as Father Daniel Garcia, a priest fresh out of exorcism school who finds himself under the tutelage of Father Peter Costello, played by Guy Pearce. The two are tasked with a dangerous proposition, as a young boy named Charlie (Brady Jenness) has murdered his family with an axe and the church is afraid that he may be possessed by a demon. Can Father Peter save this child’s life while simultaneously proving himself to his new mentor? Probably? How should I know, you’re the one who is going to watch this.
One positive I can say about this film is that it is well shot and acted. Guy Pearce is of course fantastic in his role as is Vadhir Derbez. Veteran actor Stephen Lang is here as the Archbishop, and we even get an appearance by Keith David as Father Louis with his beautiful voice. The actors play themselves in a very dignified manner even though some of the spoopy moments tend to fall into the unintentionally funny realm. Brady Jenness is…fine, as Charlie. Kid actors are routinely not great, and the last few years of cinema have really given us too many good child actors for Charlie not to stand out as a wet rag.
It isn’t terrible. The Seventh Day is effectively a buddy cop movie but with two priests, with Guy Pearce playing the grizzled veteran who doesn’t play by the rules and Derbez as the plucky recruit who knows the verses inside and out. As I’ve already noted, it’s very well shot and the actors play their role with dignity and clear talent. Unfortunately after the movie ended I just wanted to know where my time went.
The film spends far too much time on events that immediately get blown off without much acknowledgement and while the big twist came out of left field, it does invalidate a lot of the plot and character motivations leading up to that point. The epilogue just left me more frustrated, because for a film with as much filler as this one has they definitely could have had a more satisfying ending. But no, they had to sequel bait for a movie that was stuffed on streaming day one and definitely never getting a sequel.
The Seventh Day is just competent enough to not be bad but not be particularly good. It’s the filtered tap water of horror movies. And if there is a God in this world, may he never allow Guy Pearce to do an entire movie cosplaying Mark Wahlberg again. Exorcise him from that cheap Bahston accent.
Kudos to director Justin Lange for not using any visual FX in this movie outside of hiding the riggings and wire. Maybe don’t brag about how you wrote the script in 10 days unless the script is actually good.
I would have sworn that there was an Arnold movie called this, but that was the 6th day. And was about clones apparently. If this was a sequel that really would have been something.
The Sixth Day spawned one of the better MadTV sketches:
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This is the first time anyone has referenced MadTV to me. I used to wonder if it’s existence was a false memory. Confirmation!