By Day’s End Movie Review

Written by Karin Crighton

Released by Breaking Glass Pictures

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Director by Michael Souder
Written by Justin Calen-Chenn and Michael Souder
2020, 74 minutes, Not Rated
Released on March 17th, 2020

Lyndsey Lantz as Carly Mayweather
Andrea Nelson as Rina Schultz
Joshua Keller Katz as Wyatt Fremont

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The premise of By Day’s End is your typical zombie isolation story: A couple down on their luck moves into a motel, straining an already weak relationship. Their new neighbors begin to act strange and violent, and when the property custodian, Gloria, is suddenly bitten by her husband, they know a crisis is at hand. But is their gun-toting friend Wyatt and their camcorder enough to survive a pandemic?

The answer is a decidedly tired meh. By Day’s End begins setting up a ton of questions that are frustratingly never answered. Partners Carly (Lyndsey Lantz) and Rina (Andrea Nelson) are moving into a crummy motel, seemingly because they are both unemployed. Why Rina is unemployed is never explained, but Carly has dropped out of medical school because “there are some people you can’t save”. She’s decided to be a wedding videographer (see: poor).

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Perhaps more obnoxious, the charisma of the characters isn’t enough to keep us interested and starting with a failing relationship does it no favors. There is no chemistry between Lantz and Nelson as lovers, they’re cold and angry and lying to one another. There’s no reason for us to root for them as protagonists or survivors. The only cute conversation is them trying to explain to Gloria the nature of their relationship, something they seemingly face often but good-naturedly.

The low-budget, found footage nature is a favorite genre of mine, but nothing sets By Day’s End apart from any other zombie movie. The monsters are replicated from at least a dozen other horror movies. The writers and director try to shoehorn in some comedy, but it’s lackluster and ill-timed. Gloria’s dialogue is racially stereotyped without being complicated or challenged. Even in 2015 (the year this film takes place), that leaves an uncomfortable taste for the viewer.

This movie is just...boring. I was never invested in these characters, so I didn’t really care if they survived. I don’t even care that I watched the movie.

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Movie: .5 Star Rating Cover

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