out of Five
Running time: 82
This British B-movie horror about a man seeking revenge on the attackers who killed his wife and left him paralysed requires patience, lacks sophistication and would be probably more suited for TV.
What’s it all about?
Written and directed by Oliver S. Milburn in his feature debut, The Harsh Light of Day tells the chilling story of Daniel (Dan Richardson), once a successful and happily married writer, who is left paralysed after masked intruders break into his home, killing his wife in the process. When the police fail to find the attackers and with his immobility restricting him, heartbroken Daniel reluctantly seeks the help of Infurnari (Giles Anderson), a mysterious and supernatural man. Infurnari offers Daniel the irresistible chance for vengeance, transforming him into a bloodthirsty vampire and allowing him to hunt down the three street thugs who destroyed his life.
It is worth mentioning that writer-director Oliver S. Milburn was just 23 when The Harsh Light of Day was made and so with this in mind, this is actually a respectable debut. The script is fairly solid and as a piece of storytelling it’s a compelling and entertaining enough effort. Overall, Dan Richardson also puts on a commendable performance.
The problem with this low budget vampire flick is that it looks like a low budget vampire flick. A lot of the scenes are haphazard and sloppy, a mash-up of vampire clichés and square performances from its supporting cast. Daniel’s ‘transformation’ scenes are uncomfortable to watch – not necessarily for the gore you might expect or even hope for, but instead for its disappointingly low impact – particularly when he wheels himself to the fridge to lust over a piece of raw meat.
The predictable ending is also extremely rushed - a problem which could have been resolved by a lengthier running time (the film’s 82 minutes is nowhere near enough time to squeeze in this amount of action). Having said that, despite the short running time, this film still requires some incredible patience. Finally, if you’re after some scares, prepare to be disappointed as The Harsh Light of Day is more of a made-for-TV vengeance tale than a gore filled, hair-raising horror.
The Harsh Light of Day is a respectable debut but if you’re after some sophisticated horror, this is definitely one to miss.