Sundance 2010 Review: 7 DAYS - One of the best and most brutal revenge movies ever made
7 Days was hands down one of the best and most brutal revenge films I’ve ever seen. It was absolutely brilliant. One of the best things about it was the heavy amount of emotions that were packed into this story; love, hate and sadness all played key roles in the story, and helped in getting the audience involved with what was going on. The audience is faced with a moral dilemma in this story; are you with the guy that is torturing the man that raped and killed his daughter or are you against it? The film gives the audience an equal amount of perspective on both sides to help you decide if the main character is doing the right thing.
The film follows a successful surgeon named Bruno Hamel whose world is utterly destroyed when his 8 year old little girl Jasmine is brutally raped and murdered. This heinous act of violence lights fire with Brono and he is hell bent on getting revenge on the man that killed his daughter. Hamel successfully kidnaps the accused murderer and takes him up to a cabin where he has planned 7 days of the most brutal torture imaginable.
Director Daniel Grou took the torture content in this film to beyond the limit. He didn’t hold back on anything, and it’s definitely not one of those revenge films where the camera cuts away when the torture begins. In this film you see it all, and as big as a horror fan as I am, there are scenes in this film where I had to look away. I just could bring myself to watch the full extent of some of these scenes. It was some pretty crazy stuff.
In an interview, the director explains why he went all out on the torture scenes. It was his plan all along to take the movie to that level, he wanted to go far because he “knew the audience would hate the pedophile and knew that for this reason they could take what the protagonist was dishing out.” He then explains that his struggle with the story was how the pedophile reacted. He “wanted him to evoke some empathy in the audience, they had to question the protagonist's actions.” And the movie did just that. It was incredible to see the emotions that this director was able to get out of me by doing that.
One of the hardest parts for me in the film was the death of the little girl. The film showed the aftermath of what happened and it really hit home for me, enough to make me sniffle. I have daughters of my own, and seeing something like this literally scares the hell out of me. It is this scene that really builds the audience's hate for the pedophile.
The question the audience is left with after the movie ends is, would you do the same thing in a situation like this? Would you want that person that hurt you and your family to suffer the worst possible torture imaginable? There is a point behind this story, a meaning, something to learn from it unlike most of the other revenge films that have been made. The director explains that this story looks at the consequences of violence and what violence means.
As great as I feel, this movie was still was incredibly hard to watch, but I don’t think the director wanted it to be easy to watch.