‘The Seventh Day’ assessment: Man Pearce stars in plodding thriller

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The plot of the supernatural thriller “The Seventh Day” combines components of “The Exorcist” and “Coaching Day,” following a grizzled evil-fighting priest and his nervous new recruit. That premise is goofy sufficient to be enjoyable however, as executed by writer-director Justin P. Lange, the film is simply too ponderous and dry — neither endearingly trashy nor successfully scary.

Vadhir Derbez performs Father Daniel Garcia, a younger priest with a present for sensing evil — an influence that manifests as sturdy impressions of the horrible issues that occurred round sure folks and locations. Man Pearce performs Father Peter Costello, a tough-talking exorcist who had a traumatic encounter with a demon in his early years and has since developed a repute as a cynical iconoclast.

The story largely performs out over a single day in New Orleans, as a skeptical Costello colleges Garcia on the realities of the demon-purging enterprise. They roam from one satanic scorching spot to a different, with the veteran exhibiting the rookie issues he by no means discovered in seminary.

All through, the companions examine the case of a boy who murdered his household, in search of proof the child was possessed. As they get nearer to the reality, the hazard will increase, earlier than Lange springs a giant twist within the third act.

Once more, on paper, all this sounds comparatively thrilling. And trendy horror followers is likely to be excited to see Lange’s identify within the credit, provided that his earlier movie, “The Darkish,” was a considerate and at instances stunning spin on the zombie thriller. The artistry evident in “The Darkish” additionally seems intermittently in “The Seventh Day,” significantly within the sequence the place Garcia roams by the home the place the murders occurred, experiencing the killer’s trauma psychically.

However the one large knock towards “The Darkish” was that it was slow-paced, generally to the purpose of feeling listless; and in “The Seventh Day,” this can be a larger drawback. Lange’s new movie is extra plot-driven and gimmicky, but it nonetheless plods ahead with a minimal sense of urgency. A film like this must be extra in-your-face. As an alternative, its depth degree hardly ever rises above a mutter.

‘The Seventh Day’

Rated: R, for violent content material, disturbing photos and a few language

Operating time: 1 hour, 27 minutes

Enjoying: Begins March 26, Vineland Drive-in, Metropolis of Trade; Mission Tiki Drive-in, Montclair; and in restricted launch the place theaters are open; additionally on VOD

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