The Harsh Light Of Day Review

The Harsh Light Of Day film still


This low-budget Brit vampire revenge flick is promising, but doesn't make quite the grade.

Oliver S Milburn was just 23 when he wrote and directed The Harsh Light of Day, a substantial achievement for an age where most still spend their Saturdays with their head in a bucket and ‘Wanker’ scrawled across their forehead in lipstick. The film – a vampire-based tale of gory revenge – falls far short of perfection. Or, indeed, superficial enjoyment.

If you’re dairy intolerant, this one definitely isn’t for you. The opening scenes are swaddled in unforgivable clichés, depicting the eminently cheesy relationship between Daniel (Dan Richardson), a writer, and his wife, Maria (Niki Felstead). “Who needs income when you’ve got love,” is uttered before an unnecessary sex scene fugs up the screen just seven minutes in, a teenage fantasy bringing on an extreme case of the sweats.

When Daniel’s wife is brutally murdered and he is left paralysed following an attack from a violent gang clad in masks not dissimilar to those in V for Vendetta, he exacts his revenge by…transforming into a raw-meat-licking vampire.

Stylistically, The Harsh Light of Day severely lacks originality, drawing its influence from here and there while militantly refusing to give us anything new and exciting. With fang-flashers in high-budget productions saturating our screens at the moment, to hope for success with a low-budget vamp flick featuring cast members who are far from being powerhouse actors was very optimistic of Milburn.

Which is a shame, as there are subliminal flashes of a more interesting film here which has been drastically stymied by the writing, directorial choices and the quality of acting. The focus is too often shifted away from impressive special effects and relatively seamless sound design. This means audiences will spend the majority of its 82 minute run time thinking, ‘If he’d chosen to seek revenge by hiring a hitman instead of becoming a vampire, this film wouldn’t exist.’

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