Monday, September 25, 2017

Days Of Power (2017)








DIRECTOR: Jason Pagnoni

WRITER: Michel Grey

CAST:

Jenny Hutton
Eric Roberts
Eliza Roberts
Lara Wolf
Robert Venable
Alyssa Lee Lewis
Keaton Simons
Dominic Ryan Gabriel
Paul Lewis

PLOT:

Milow the Girl and her band are currently on their international tour. The pop star and her bandmates decide to visit a rural rescue dog sanctuary in the hopes of purchasing a chihuahua. When they arrive at the location, they soon witness the cruel conditions of how the animals are treated and soon come under attack from the family that runs the sanctuary. Milow and her bandmates will be kept in cages, subject to torture, and murdered for the amusement of this twisted family.








If you suddenly come across Days Of Power on IMDB. The film is listed as an Action Drama Musical. If you go into this flick expecting something along the lines of A Star Is Born, you'll be sadly mistaken. You won't find any romance, alcoholism, or suicide in this film. I'm not even sure there are any scenes of action in this movie. Whoever has put this film's page together has got this one completely wrong. The only thing that this may contain is elements of music.

Days Of Power is of the redneck, rural, road trip variety. This story itself feels a little inspired by The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. You won't find any mutated rednecks that are generations into inbreeding, and you won't see any killers wearing human skin as a mask. What you will witness, is a group of people coming upon the rural farmhouse, and falling victim to a twisted family. While there is no Leatherface, we get a bunch of animal abusing, dirt-covered, rednecks.

I'll start by saying that the movie has a premise that I've never seen used in a horror film like this before. Usually, it's a road trip to a families place, cutting across country, or going to some concert. The reason this band gets trapped and held captive by this family is that the lead singer wants to purchase a dog, and she witnesses the terrible condition of this supposed sanctuary. From this point on, the band members are kept in cages and subjected to all forms of torture. If I have anything positive to say about the story, at least the set-up here feels original in some way.

I believe that the director and writer behind Days Of Power have something to really say with this story. The entire set-up of the film feels like its trying to expose puppy mills and shine a light on animal abuse. So there is a very real theme of horror that runs beneath the surface of this film. I just don't think they really take it all the way. They could've had even more scenes or at least tried to hint at how deep this sort of animal abuse runs on a national scale. It's not pleasant, and it should never ever be something that is easy to watch.

Visually, I think the film tries to set itself apart from other movies of this ilk. This is a very low-budget movie, but I sense the director may be a fan of David Fincher. There are several occasions where he uses these, long, fluid tracking shots that make their way through items like chains, or a microphone. We even follow a fly as it flies down a hallway and towards a hotel door peephole which the camera then travels through, and into another room. There is some flair to be found here, even if the visual effects come across as somewhat fake.

The issues that I have with this movie begin with the performances. I know this cast isn't littered with the Hollywood Elite, and this was probably friends of the filmmaker and first-time actors. The only actor here that is anything worthy of note is the great Eric Roberts. Yet, he sadly looks like he'd rather be anywhere else but this movie. He seems utterly bored. Jenny Hutton who plays Milow the Girl, she shows promise. I've not seen her in anything else, but she does try. Her performance is spent upset in a cage. She does her best with the material.

I feel that the story is also incredibly predictable here. Minus the set-up of the band getting to the desired destination. The film doesn't really set itself apart when trying to subvert expectations. The second and third acts, sort of play to conventions. Our band is captured, then tortured, and the remaining survivors fight back. It is a play-by-numbers story and resolution. You won't find anything here that feels like it tries to break new ground. You would have seen all of this before.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about the horror elements, tension, and suspense. Is Days of Power scary? No, it isn't. The film is more focused on the torture and violence side of things. The band members when fighting back get to deliver their own justice in that final act. It's great to see these women, get to fight back against their captors. Sadly, none of it is felt really suspenseful or scary. I like that they didn't rely on jump scares, but it would have been great if the film delivered the shocks.







DEATH TOLL: 4

BLOOD AND GORE:

- A group of women are held captive in cages.
- A dog is shot in the head.
- A man is repeatedly shot in the face.
- A woman is chained in a tank that is filled with water and drowns.
- A man's leg is sliced open.
- A person's jawbone is found on the floor.
- A man is shot in the head.
- A woman's throat is cut.
- A man is smacked in the face with a pole.
- A woman is hit in the face with a shovel.
- A woman slices her arm open.
- A man is stabbed with a pitchfork and set on fire.







Days Of Power is a movie that sadly falls into predictability. If you go into this movie, trusting the IMDB synopsis, you may be disappointed. It's neither a drama nor is the movie an action film. If this were released during the whole SAW and Hostel years, it would've been lumped in with the torture porn genre. This is a film that has a myriad of problems. The feel doesn't feel original. There are moments here that I did enjoy, though. I liked some of the visuals and cinematography.


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