Writer: Justin Calen-Chenn, Michael Souder (Screenplay)
Starring: Lyndsey Lantz, Andrea Nelson, Joshua keller Katz, Bill Oberst Jr, Maria Olsen, Devlin Wilder
Plot: Love is never an easy road. No one knows that better than Carly and Rina, whose relationship takes a turn for the worse after Carly decides to drop out of med school and Rina loses her job as an attorney. This forces them to move into a motel, a situation neither of them are happy with. To makes matters worse, Rina’s battles with depression have returned and Carly has decided to use what money she has left to buy a camera so she can pursue videography as a profession. Despite the cracks that are starting to show in their relationship, Carly and Rina pledge to repair what has been broken, no matter the circumstances, no matter the odds. But are they both as adamant as they say they are? Unfortunately, time is not on their side. When a pandemic disease ravaging the world appears in their city and starts turning people into crazed flesh eating machines, Carly and Rina decide to keep documenting the occurrence with their camera. Doing so, they are forced to band together like never before
Runtime: 1 Hour 12 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Plays Out Like An Opening Level of Video Game
Story: By Day’s End starts as Carly (Lantz) fresh after dropping out of medical school purchases her first camera to become a videographer while looking to get her feet back on the ground with her girlfriend Rina (Nelson) who has recently lost her job, leaving them living in the motel.
After Rina suffers another job rejection the day takes another turn for the worst when it turns out a pandemic has spread, one that brings the dead back to life, leaving the women trapped in their room, watching the world fall apart outside their door.
Thoughts on By Day’s End
Characters – Carly wants to become a videographer after spending years studying a med school, she is waiting for her chance to proposal to Rina, mostly hoping everything in life will work out, offering medical treatment where she sees fit, filming the day. Rina is trying to get back into job market after losing her job, she does wish Carly would get back to a more serious way of looking at life, while battling with her own demons. Wyatt is one of the residents that has a plan once the outbreak starts, he has been preparing for an incident for a while now, proving to be an excellent ally in surviving.
Performances – Lyndsey Lantz does have the most work to do, mostly because despite this being a found footage film and it is her character’s camera, she isn’t always behind it and more focused on the doing the right thing, showing us just how a dreamer can be living their life. Andrea Nelson does have one of the bleakest scenes early on, showing the best performance part of the film with it.
Story – The story here follows a couple that have been going through hard times, that find themselves in the middle of a zombie outbreak, being trapped in the motel complex they are calling home. When it comes to zombie films it is hard to bring anything truly new to the genre, while this story on the zombie side of the film does feel like something we saw in both chapters of ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Left 4 Dead’ franchise of games, with a group of survivors needing to get out of a motel alive, while never being as intense as them, trying to show the slow outbreak. The relationship side of the film does show us how we just arrive in one day of their lives, instead of a big set up to place us there, which is nice to see, making this whole story feel like it could have happened within the day of the lives of the characters.
Horror/Romance – The horror in this film comes from the idea that a zombie outbreak is happening, with the location being more secure than the open, only being shot in a mix of handheld found footage and security camera footage.
Settings – The film is set in a motel area, be it the room, car park and corridors, it does offer up plenty of tight locations that facing a zombie would be difficult, which does keep the film even though set in the middle of a city, we don’t get a large number of zombies thrown into the mix.
Special Effects – The effects are kept off camera with cuts to different angles to hide gore moments, relying on the blood splatter involved in the film.
Scene of the Movie – The plan to escape.
Final Thoughts – This is a zombie outbreak movie that we have seen before, while keeping everything feeling more contained than normal.
Overall: Zombie Survival 101