At the end of 7 Days, the handcuffed protagonist is led away from the scene of his crimes by police. A reporter asks this disturbed doctor if what he’s done brought him any closure. “No,” the man says. Does he regret what he’s done? “No,” he says again.
Those questions are at the heart of this Canadian drama. What would you do if your eight-year-old daughter was raped, murdered, dumped in a field – and then you managed to kidnap and confine the perpetrator for a whole week? It’s a difficult question, and the movie gives us answers not just from Dr. Bruno Hamel (Claude Legault), but also from his wife, from a widowed policeman, and from the parents of several other murdered girls.
Director Daniel Grou lets the audience dwell on that sticky question for 105 minutes, and then, as if that moral quandary weren’t depressing enough, we must watch as Dr. Hamel perverts his medical expertise, torturing his captive in graphic, gory, and ingenious ways.
The problem with 7 Days is that it’s three movies in one: police thriller, family tragedy … and torture porn. It’s too slow-paced to be particularly suspenseful, too gruesome for serious contemplation, and hey, if it’s the torture you dig, there are some Japanese movies (not to mention the Hostel franchise) that will better suit your needs.
What we’re left with is an interesting misfire that can best be summed up in two words: unpleasant and depressing. Grade: B-
Director: Daniel Grou Cast: Remy Girard, Claude Legault, Fanny Mallette, Martin Dubreuil, Rose-Marie Coallier, Pascale Delhaes Release: 2010
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