Zero Day-Movie Review

Zero Day Film Review

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Zero Day

Dir. Ben Coccio
USA 2003 35mm Running Time: 94min.

With all the Columbine-inspired films floating around these days (Duck!, Gus Van Sants Elephant etc.) you could say that Ben Coccios debut feature Zero Day has some stiff competition.

But truth be told, it blows all other provocative teen-rampage movies out of the water. Andre (Andre Keuck) and Cal (Cal Robertson) are two high school students who use a video diary to document the countdown to their own personal armageddon.

Their preparations range from burning their personal belongings to stockpiling an arsenal of illegal weapons (again, the Anarchists Cookbook comes in handy), and they address the camera throughout, detailing the minutiae of their activities and their feelings about the impending Zero Day.

What keeps the film so captivating are the unforgettable performances of the non-professional actors (which includes the actorsreal-life parents), which are characterized by an unexpected humanness and charm.

Their relationship is realistic and touching (Coccio has even described the film as a buddy film), and atypical of what you would expect from people about to embark on a massacre. Their parents are loving and supportive, they seem relatively socially adjusted, Cal even has a girlfriend and goes to the prom only days before the cataclysmic event.

As Zero Day closes in, we dont want them to go through with it not because of any real sympathy for their fellow students, but because we see great potential in these two kids. And the controversial closing sequence is one of the most chilling things Ive ever witnessed onscreen. Come see why Coccios film has been snatching up awards all over the festival circuit.

Kier-La Janisse