THE SEVENTH DAY (REVIEW)
Dir. Justin P. Lange
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Years after an exorcism of a small child goes wrong, a priest (Guy Pearce) takes on an apprentice (Vadhir Derbez) at the request of the archbishop (Stephen Lang) in the world of demons and hardship. The plot is by the numbers, the cast are all present but not given anything meaty to chew on and subsequently what we have here is a film that despite its action set pieces, feels rather lame.
Out of nowhere, the exorcist genre has evolved into the new post apocalypse zombie genre. When one turns up, as do a hundred more and like the legions of hell seeking vessels to inhabit, these films also cling on to anything they can find. Unfortunately, like most undead, the genre is becoming ugly, repetitive, and over saturated. With the arrival of THE CONJURING 3: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT comes THE SEVENTH DAY.
· Deep synthesized demonic voice, check
· Floating bodies, check
· Poor electrics, check
· Levitating objects, check
· Body distortions, check
· Split personality possession, check
· A mentor, student relationship of priests, check
All the tropes are here and despite an accolade of award-winning stars and genre favourites, there really is nothing new to see here. As for the plot, there’s a somewhat intriguing twist but one you can see coming if you know the genre and the central star at hand. Little is done to beat the stereotype and as a result, the film becomes a slog of clichés that have been done better long before.
It’s a shame that with such a cast comes such promise and they do give it what is needed, however it’s the pacing and formulaic tones to THE SEVENTH DAY that really let it down as there’s plenty to see here if you hadn’t already seen it before. Lang is unrecognisable and abstracted of charm in a role that sees him hiding behind a desk while Pearce chews the screen the only way he knows, which unfortunately leads to the least shocking conclusion to a film since we found out Michael Myers didn't die in HALLOWEEN.
THE SEVENTH DAY doesn’t necessary do anything wrong, it just simply doesn’t do anything new and when there are so many better and unique exorcist films out there, you have to ask the question, what is the point? There may be something here for the casual horror fan, but if you've seen the likes of THE LAST EXORCISM, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, even the disappointing THE CONJURING 3, there's plenty of better options to view.