- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: 7th Day

Also known as:

Year: 2012

Genre: Independent / Horror / Thriller

Language: English

Runtime: 75 min

Director: Jason M. Koch

Writer: Mark Leake


A murderer is trying to find out what he actually wants in life: the woman he believes is the one, or murder. He decides to spend 7 days figuring it out, but it's not always an easy decision.

Our thoughts:
"7th Day" is a movie that has been brought to my attention several time, including by my partner on this site (you know, that guy Preston) who quite liked it. It certainly had be interested because I love a good serial killer movie that focuses on the bad guy to try and show his humane side. It wouldn't come as a big surprise if movies like "Maniac" and "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" were the main inspiration while making this movie, and it's a movie that I believe would make them proud with the way it handles the material. From a director who has worked on more movies as a special effects artist, it's bound to fit the nastiness of those movies too right?

Allen Dean is the kind of person you might think is odd if you meet him, work with him or just generally see him on the street. A loner, a bit awkward, you know the type. But he's a nice guy - he just happens to be a serial killer with a very specific problem in his life. He's in love with a waitress, but he knows he has to pick between her and murder. During a week long period we're right by his side as he tries to figure out what he really wants. He has a figure by his side, ready to hand him the knife whenever he finds the right person to kill.

I don't think there was much of a decision to be made, it seemed pretty clear from the beginning what he wanted in life. The plot sort of became more of a semi-philosophical look at a murderer's day than someone who tries to decide what he wants. I don't think that dragged the movie down, but it's worth mentioning. The movie is driven by Allen Dean's narration, thoughts, ideas and the process of his killing. We learn how he picks victims (which he calls "selections"). These get a special treatment, which is where his passion for killing comes from. But there are also some people he just needs to "sort out", and they are killed off in a faster, sloppier manner. These are the parts of the movie that highly remind me of the above mentioned classics.

"7th Day" doesn't have a lot of flaws, but I did think some philosophy-esque speeches of our lead sometimes come off as awkward and a bit forced (silly?) compared to what was probably intended. The movie does have some comedy to it, which isn't what I'm talking about. Intentionally or not, the comedy bits work, they are just adding some flavour to it, but the parts that bothered me weren't really comedy. They're either somethign that didn't fully work in either the script or the performance. Though again, they don't make this a movie serial killer movie at all, merely takes it down a peg. One could also question the need for the white-skinned figure who stands by his side when he finds his "selections". It didn't exactly add much to the story other than hinting at his urges being so strong that he sees a figure handing him the weapon.

The gore in this movie is often presented in quick shots scattered all over the movie, which in many movies come off as after thoughts, but in "7th Day" it actually works. I think it's because they fit the scenes they were added to and not just random effect ideas. It does have some gore outside of that, but the goriest bits are presented this way. It actually gets pretty gory at times and will definitely please those who want the red in their serial killer movies.

I'd definitely recommend "7th Day". It's a fairly serious serial killer movie that offers an interesting lead character and gore. The movie isn't as sleazy as some of the prior movies like it, but still has a bit of necrophilia and other nasty parts. The atmosphere just isn't as harsh as one could expect. All in all though, odds are you'll like this if you're a fan of serial killer movies that get into the head of the killer.

Positive things:
- Mark S. Sanders works really well as a killer.
- Quite good gore. And enough of it!
- Even though it has some comedic parts, it never made light of the subject.

Negative things:
- The "decision" never felt like a hard decision.
- Some dialogue/narration felt cheesy.
- Not sure the figure by his side added much.

Gore: 3/5
Nudity: 0.5/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 1.5/5

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