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Movie review: Fight for survival in 'The Day' never breaks

In the post-apocalyptic drama, a group of five tries to survive in a harsh, unforgiving world over the course of 24 hours.

August 28, 2012|By Mark Olsen
  • Cory Hardrict, Dominic Monaghan and Shannyn Sossamon star in "The Day."
Cory Hardrict, Dominic Monaghan and Shannyn Sossamon star in "The… (Petr Maur )

Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski, "The Day" charts 24 hours in a post-apocalyptic world. The premise is simple: A small band of people, three men, two women, move across a desolate rural landscape, wary of encountering anyone or anything, when they come upon a small farmhouse.

Luke Passmore's screenplay is stingy with his explanations about who these people are or how the world came to be in this state, and that turns out to be one of the film's greatest strengths.

These people are merely focused on the immediate goal of surviving in this harsh, unforgiving world, which becomes more challenging with the arrival of a band of crazed invaders on the hunt for more "meat."

The storytelling is helped immensely by the cast, which includes Shawn Ashmore, Shannyn Sossamon, Dominic Monaghan, Cory Hardrict and most notably Ashley Bell. As Mary, the most recent enlistee to the tribe, Bell has a secretive reserve and steely resolve.

The visual scheme is at times distracting. The images are mostly desaturated, with only small flashes of color here and there. When a fire starts burning, the screen briefly glows to a warmer orange tint.

Still, "The Day" is just good enough to engage audiences, but it falls well short of remarkable, leaving viewers wishing for a dawn that never breaks.

mark.olsen@latimes.com

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