Posted by: Peter Hall
Directed by Daniel Grou, 2010
Written by Patrick Senécal
Maybe I’ve just spent too much time in the horror genre. Maybe I’ve become desensitized to violence and torture. Maybe I’m just incapable of ignoring the part of my brain that says “It’s all just a movie.” Whatever the case, it’s rare that I find a film difficult to watch. But every now and then a film arrives that reminds me, no, I’m not desensitized to violence and torture, that my ‘just a movie’ switch can be short circuited, and that the horror genre can still get under my calloused skin. Such is Daniel Grou’s 7 Days.
The French Canadian film had its world premiere last week at the Sundance Film Festival and starting today it will be available via the Sundance Selects program across a number of cable provider’s OnDemand platforms. And while saying 7 Days got under the skin of a hardened horror movie fan sounds like the highest of compliments, I hesitate to consider that grounds for recommendation. Yes, it is difficult to watch. Yes, it is disturbing. Yes, it is made with the utmost craft. Yet I feel it prudent to point out that, while those are qualities we all can agree define a good horror movie, this is absolutely a film not for everyone.
On the surface, it’s the story of a doctor who uses a cabin in the woods to methodically exact revenge on the man the police have accused of raping and murdering his eight-year old daughter. But beyond the torture is a harrowing journey into what happens to otherwise healthy relationships when they’re sundered by the unimaginable. This isn’t a tale of revenge in the Death Sentence tradition. This is an unflinching magnifying glass on what it means to lose everything. It spends as much time lingering on the physical torture as it does the mental; a combination that often times becomes almost unbearable to watch.