Director – Sebastian Niemann
Cast – Sean Pertwee, Amanda Plummer, Gina Bellman, Sean Chapman, Nick Brimble
Release Year – 2000
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This is another one of those films that I randomly come across and after reading the plot think to myself, “Well, it sounds cool. I’ll give it a shot.” and leave the experience shaking my head at my optimism. While the direction is fair and the atmosphere is awesome, story and execution problems kept Seven Days to Live from being anything but an un-impressive watch that I should have ignored.
After suffering the sudden loss of their young son, a grieving couple moves to an old home in hopes of starting over, but instead find themselves subjected to horrors residing in the old mansion.
I absolutely love haunted house films, so naturally this film appealed to me despite my thoughts that it would most likely suck. The storyline involving a couple relocated due to the loss of a child is not a new idea (Antichrist), and the rest of the storyline remains bland thanks to uninspired writing that could have turned this into a positive effort had things been done right. Using the tactic of the wife, Ellen, seeing a vision stating they only have seven days to live, the film does get a bit silly at times and not in a fashionable way. It is one thing for a Japanese film to give us dumb antics like that, but for a serious film like this one to do so was a bit too much for me. As the film progresses the tension growing between Ellen and her husband Martin becomes quite unbearable as infighting between them begins, which is pretty much where the film lost all hope and went very much downhill from there.
Director Sebastian Niemann did a decent job with this film, giving us superb atmosphere and awesome sets that brought on a very creepy feel to the film. Sadly, his execution of the horror was superseded by poor execution of his characters, especially the horrendous performance by Amanda Plummer as Ellen. I could not stand her voice to begin with, so when the tension kicked in and she began yelling and losing it I was left with her utterly annoying voice constantly plaguing me and lessening my enjoyment (or lack thereof) of the film. There were decent scares at times, but in the end poor execution left this film one that I should have left alone.
Overall, Seven Days to Live is a film that tries and offers potential in the form of great atmosphere and sets, but lame execution of the actors and horror involved, both in writing and direction, left this an undesirable film that I suggest you stay away from.