When it comes to horror films, there seems to be a common set-up that every writer and director follows, especially exorcism films. “The Seventh Day” was no different from the hundreds of movies just like it.
Justin P. Lange is the writer and director of the film. He sets the movie up to be like any other demonic or paranormal story, complete with the creepy old woman, the concerned priests, the possessed child and even a Ouija board– but the ending definitely throws you for a twist.
I’m a huge advocate for films that have a twist, because I hate when movies are so predictable that by the second act you know what the ending will be. Thankfully, Lange chose to make his film less predictable than similar films.
“The Seventh Day” stars Guy Pearce as Father Peter, Vadhir Derbez as Father Daniel, Stephen Lang as Archbishop and Keith David as Father Louis; a talented and dynamic cast.
Lange threw in some scenes that made the flick feel like a good cop/bad cop detective show. The dynamic between Father Peter, the renowned and seasoned exorcist, and Father Daniel, the fresh-out-the-monastery priest, gave the film a surprising modification.
Many critics are saying the film resembles “Training Day,” a police drama where a veteran officer escorts a rookie on his first day with the LAPD’s tough inner-city narcotics unit. But “The Seventh Day” obviously still upholds its position as an exorcism movie. I’ve personally never seen “Training Day” but I can’t deny this one similarity.
However, we can’t ignore the fact that the whole old priest paired with a new priest stick isn’t a new invention. Despite that, it does make for an interesting comparison.
Guy Pearce’s performance as Father Peter was well done and important to the movement of the movie. We start the movie seeing Father Peter as a young priest himself during one of his first exorcisms, where his predecessor was killed by the demon. The audience quickly learns that he’s seen a lot of terrible things, and he can sense evil.
Father Daniel is a very timid man of few words. He has trouble connecting with Father Peter at first because of Peter’s unconventional style of exorcism. For instance, most priests wear the iconic black suit with the white clerical collar, but the only religious identifier Peter wears is a large gold cross around his neck.
Father Peter makes it clear – pretty quickly – to Daniel that this is no job for the faint of heart. That priests need to have complete reliance on their faith in God to be able to battle demons. He even goes on to say that every priest has a story behind becoming an exorcist.
The two holy men encounter their first exorcism together, and the reason Father Peter warned Father Daniel becomes apparent there. They encounter a fierce and sneaky demon that lurks in the place you least suspect it.
Overall, “The Seventh Day” can be a little cheesy at times, but there were some jump scares that got my heart racing. The suspense built up throughout the movie made me sit on the edge of my seat, and that really helped me enjoy it. If you enjoy exorcism movies, I highly recommend this film. Just be aware of the similarities you’ll see from other movies.