THE SEVENTH DAY: 2 STARS. “a mix-and-match of ‘Training Day’ with ‘The Exorcist.’”
Father Peter (Guy Pearce) is a priest with a past I the new exorcism drama “The Seventh Day,” now on VOD.
The rough-and-tumble holy man comes complete with Sonny Crockett stubble, a fistful of smokes and a muscle car. He’s a badass who says, “An exorcist doesn’t hide from evil. He runs TOWARD it, feels the evil in his bones and can sense when it’s close.”
He stands in stark contrast to his latest protégé, novice priest Father Daniel (Vadhir Derbez). The trainee does not have his mentor’s swagger and Father Peter is less than impressed with Daniel‘s “two grueling weeks of exorcist nursery school.”
Nonetheless, the duo are a team, buddy exorcists off in search of evil to expunge. After a run in with the devil at a homeless encampment they come across Charlie (Brady Jenness), a pre-teen who murdered his family with an axe. Is he a bad kid or is he possessed by the devil?
“The Seventh Day” starts strong with the exorcism gone wrong that formed Father Peter’s hardened exterior. “The evil was the strongest I’ve ever seen,” he says. Unfortunately, after that it goes downhill faster than you can say “Father Karras” three times fast. The mix-and-match of “Training Day” with “The Exorcist” could have offered up some edgy thrills but instead falls prey to clichés borrowed from dozens of other devil movies dating back to when Father Merrin first bellowed, “The power of Christ compels you!”
Pearce, who also co-produced, attempts to inject some life into “The Seventh Day” with a big hammy performance but his flamboyance is counter-balanced by flat work from Derbez whose work mimics the film’s listless pacing.
“The Seventh Day” seeks to reinvent the exorcism movie via the buddy cop genre but succeeds only in combing the most hackneyed bits of each.