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The Day the World Ended

Day the World Ended, The (2001) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  91m  •    •  Directed by: Terence Gross.  •  Starring: Nastassja Kinski, Randy Quaid, Bobby Edner, Harry Groener, Lee de Broux, Stephen Tobolowsky, Debra Christofferson, Nik Dressbach, Brandon de Paul, Kate Fuglei, Neil Vipond, Brian Steele, David Getz.  •  Music by: Charles Bernstein.
        When New York City therapist Dr. Jennifer Stillman takes a job as an elementary school psychologist in a small rural town, she arrives in her new home only to be treated with scorn by the town's residents. After she befriends a strange young boy, she finds herself in the middle of a battle involving a monster, the boy, and an ages-old curse on the town itself.

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Image from: Day the World Ended, The (2001)
Image from: Day the World Ended, The (2001)
Image from: Day the World Ended, The (2001)
Image from: Day the World Ended, The (2001)
Image from: Day the World Ended, The (2001)
Image from: Day the World Ended, The (2001)
Image from: Day the World Ended, The (2001)
Image from: Day the World Ended, The (2001)
Dr Jennifer Stillman is a child psychologist who moves to a small town for a break from the big city life. On her first day placed in the town's school, she notices a strange young boy called Ben. Taking the opportunity to dig a little deeper into the clearly troubled lad, she learns that he was adopted by his father (Michael) after his real mother died and nobody knew who his real father was. However she doesn't know quite what to think about Ben's belief that his father was an alien and that he will return one day; but when someone or something is killing people in the small town could it be that Ben is the only one that knows what is really going on?

With a relatively well-known cast and an appealing title, I decided to give this film a go but must admit that I didn't think it was that good ¿¿¿ although maybe worth giving a go if you're in an undemanding mood. The plot offers mystery that appealed to me but it reveals its secrets very early on by revealing the rubbery beast quite early on in the proceedings. In fact it reveals so much early on that I realized that there must be more to the story than this, there must be some sort of twist and turn coming at the end or else this will have been one very dull movie. For what it's worth, there are some plot 'revelations' towards the end but they are not that good and they certainly don't make up for the rest of the film being a rather dull affair that occasionally throws in some rubbery effects. This part should create tension and mystery but it doesn't and the direction the plot takes comes across rather like a series of ideas that have been lifted from better films and not fully delivered here. It has some entertainment value but it would have worked better as a short film (30 minutes long) because here it feels rather stretched.

Edner was good as Ben, he wasn't as horribly cute as he could have been and he deals with the 'running and being scared' side of things just fine. Kinski overplays her part and makes it too earnest and serious. I'm not suggesting that she needed to be all-singing, all-dancing, but there is a difference between being convincingly earnest and coming across as really forcing the performance of being earnest ¿¿¿ Kinski does the latter rather than the former and she didn't do anything for me at all. Quaid is his usual self and is a nice addition; he does well with what he is given to work with. Support is quite good from Tobolowsky, Groener and a few others but generally this film is not about the characters ¿¿¿ it is about the plot and, in that regard, it isn't as satisfying as I had hoped it would be.

Overall this is watchable once but it is not much cop after that. The plot marks out its stall early on and tells us a lot but then settles on that for a while, making the majority of the film come across as a bit dull. When the twists and turns do come, they are a bit flat and uninspired and it never gets anywhere near the atmosphere that it wants to have and it doesn't really work on any level. Maybe genre fans will like it but I can find little to recommend it for and would advise that there are better films with similar ideas which develop and deliver them much better than this below-average made-for-television effort.


Review by bob the moo from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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