Every movie with a line of dialogue such as: “Life shits on everyone, but with me it had diarrhoea”, is a great movie in my book!
Jokes aside, Die in One Day is an Italian independent horror movie I got the chance to see at the newly built theatre I talked about in my Thelma review, where they show underground and lesser known movie from all around Europe.
Die in One Day, written and directed by Eros D’Antona, follows Richard, a British man is in search of his daughter Mindy. He meets Sasha, a Ukrainian aspiring actress who promises to help him. But the hope to get some quick cash by performing in a 24-hour play soon turns out to be a bloody game, when Richard, Sasha and two other people are chased by five masked killers.
For me, this is a really hard movie to review – and that doesn’t depend on the fact that I’m Italian. Simply put, Die in One Day is a very enjoyable, yet uneven and silly, slasher flick filled with great music, okay gore effects and quite bad performances. In other words: it’s a mixed bag!
Continue reading and check my final grade below…
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The film starts off very decent, with some character development and our main characters having genuine reason to embark in the 24-hour play. Despite the acting not being great (at all), the way the story unfolds is captivating and the build-up is as interesting as what follows. In fact, the introduction to characters and story is even more intriguing then when the story itself unfolds. More on this later.
As I said before, the music is great, very Argento-esque: unlike most horror flicks, Die in One Day doesn’t utilise any stock sound effect nor formulaic music that you can easily download for free online; on the contrary, this movie relies on two or three songs that play in the background throughout the runtime making for an uneasy, somewhat mystical experience.
Yet, the gore is well-crafted even though never excessive. Fun fact: Die in One Day is rated T in Italy, which means that everybody can watch it, including little kids. In the US – or in England – a movie like this would definitely get a R rating, no doubt.
When I was talking about the fact that this movie has a better build-up than what follows, I meant that after a while it becomes uneventful and a little boring, since it’s supposed to be a slasher and, having only four ‘victims’ on screen, there isn’t the opportunity to have many gruesome scenes.
The more the story develops, and we get to understand why our characters are been chased and killed one by one, the more plot holes start to come up the surface: unfortunately, the writing here is not strong enough to give this plot coherence and, after a while, things stop making sense.
Finally, I can’t avoid mentioning the acting: what happens here is that Italian actors are asked to speak English (along the line of Italian horror movies from the 70s and 80s, and similar to Housewife), which results in some laugh-out-loud line delivery. Don’t get me wrong, as an Italian who speaks English most of the time I know my accent is often shaky and sometimes ridiculous, but seeing these guys trying their very best to speak a language they don’t fully understand was just the funniest thing.
Overall, Die in One Day is a mixed bag: funny at times, tense and gory in some scenes, unintentionally hilarious at points, flawed and nonsensical towards the end. If you’re okay with an 80-minute-long Italian tribute to slasher cinema, then you can give it a chance, otherwise I’d suggest avoiding it.
Die in One Day 5/10