By midlandsmovies, Apr 27 2018 09:54PM
Midlands Review - The 7th Day
Directed by Lee Page
The 7th Day is a 40 minute short film directed by Lee Page and shot in & around Birmingham. It follows a group of four travellers who come together in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse as they pick their way through the West Midlands to a safehouse where all is not quite as it seems. You may have heard of it because it took home the Best Director prize at the recent 2018 Midland Movies Awards.
Some folks think it's easy to make a short zombie film, because all you need are extras and some decent makeup. Having made a couple of them myself, I can tell you that's certainly not the case. You need either a strong story or excellent characters in order to stand out and with the huge proliferation of zombie flicks out there you need to make sure your zombies look good. 'Good' is a word which is used here to mean 'gory and quite creepy'.
I'm happy to say that The 7th Day stands above the crowd in this respect. The actors do a fine job for the most part, especially Brad Rollason and Ethan Brady with their cheeky interplay. I don't think I've ever heard someone say something was 'lit af' out loud before, but if anyone would speak like that it's these two. Jason also was gave a good performance, particularly in the middle third where he's almost acting as a surrogate big brother figure to the two others.
The story wasn't hugely original, but that's ok in this instance because it was enjoyable to see the characters on their journey. I got a 28 Days Later vibe from the safe house; survivors thinking they've found safety when actually their saviours are more like captors. I don't know about you, but I definitely wouldn't stay if all there was to eat was a thin blob of porridge on a paper plate. I'd be writing a bad Yelp review there, you can count on it.
The action scenes and visual effects for the most part are very good. The zombies (sorry, 'feeders'!) were very convincingly rotted, there's enough blood splashing around to keep a gorehound like me interested and the extras were clearly having a whale of a time.
There's a moment with two little girl zombies that's well choreographed and very funny. In fact, the humour is where the film's greatest strengths lay. Ethan takes one look at the girls and nopes out of there – it's funny because it's the everyman reaction. And I don't know if the wagon wheels were meant to be an homage to Zombieland's twinkies, but it definitely made me chuckle.
The only criticisms I have are just gripes, really. When the camera moved around swiftly there were a few focus issues that were minor at first but became very distracting later, actually making it difficult to watch the screen. A couple of the supporting performances were a little flat.
On the whole, the short is excellent and well worth a watch. It serves a pilot of sorts, and was originally shot as a webseries comprising 3 episodes. There's currently an open fundraiser to crowdfund for Series 2, and I thoroughly recommend doing so. If they've done this well with the budget they have so far, they deserve to have at least double the finance to see how much better they can get.