TV Movie: “Day of Reckoning”

TV movie’s, especially when shown during a television celebration, can be fun for so many reasons. There doesn’t have to be a lot going for it in the area of expectations. Simply having an enjoyable and fun story is all that’s needed. Without that, it’ll just be business as usual, and not in a good way.

The Epic Pictures Productions movie “Day of Reckoning”, is so dull and not scary, that it’s surprising I didn’t stop watching well before it ended.

This horror movie stars Jackson Hurst (“NCIS: Los Angeles”, “Vanished: Left Behind – Next Generation”), Heather McComb (“Battle Scars”, “CSI: Cyber”), Nick Gomez (“Blood Sombrero”, “Bosch”), Jay Jay Warren (“Best Friends Whenever”, “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life”), Hana Hayes (“The Grinder”, “A Beautiful Now”), Raymond Vasquez (“Roadies”, “Shameless (US TV series)”), Barbra Crampton (upcoming “Little Sister”, “Sun Choke”), and Raymond J. Barry (“Ray Donovan”, “The Purge: Election Year”).

The movie was directed by Joel Novoa Schneider (“ID2: Shadwell Army”, “God’s Slave”) and written by Gregory Gieras (“A Fine Step”, “Big Ass Spider!”).

The movie originally premiered on Oct. 8, 2016 on SyFy.

Continuing on this month long celebration known as “31 Days of Halloween”, we come to another weekend and another new SyFy Original Movie. This one, however, ended up being far less fun than I was hoping for. I was skeptical from the moment I saw the promo last week, but I was trying to be optimistic. It didn’t matter, and not just because I didn’t get to watch it live and partake in any snarky Twitter convos with others watching, but because I regretted it. It comes with the territory, but sometimes you can look past what was given and find something even slightly redeeming. Here, I don’t think there’s anything to save this movie. If you saw the pilot of the new SyFy Original Series “Aftermath”, then you already understand what was so wrong with this movie. I didn’t think anything could be as bad as that episode.

Clearly I was wrong. Very wrong. Dead wrong. I am now (like usual) back to hating TV movies, be they the ones that air on this network or Lifetime. When will I learn?

Probably never, so let’s move on.

The problem with this movie, even though I forced myself to get through it, which itself was a bit tedious, is the fact that the story turned out to be such a let down. It was an easy story, and maybe too simple, but it didn’t allow for there to be enough worth getting excited about. The character’s pretty much spent the whole time looking for shelter and surviving the night in some way, shape, or form. That’s it. They went from place to place, doing and saying things that I couldn’t give two shits about, and occasionally ran into demon-like creatures. You’d think that somewhere in there there’d be something worth seeing, but there wasn’t. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure what any of the character’s names were. That’s pretty much how little I cared. I wish I could blame this movie for its lack of interesting character’s or backstory, but I can’t, even though it’s so evident these things were missing.

What I can blame this movie for, which is par for the course, is the bad CGI that was used. On the flip side, which is truly surprising, the creature designs were quite good. If this had been some bigger budgeted film, or a big budget studio film, then these creatures might’ve ended up being quite frightening. I just marveled at the creativity put into the individual creatures. If I hadn’t been as disinterested as I was, I might’ve been able to convince myself that these creatures were worth spending energy getting scared by.

But instead, I spent my time starting to fill in the information about the various people involved in this movie. I do that sometimes, but especially when I know I can multi-task. The perk, I get the whole piece done faster and I’m not breaking any of my own rules about writing before the end of the program.

If that bit didn’t really clue you in on what this TV movie is like, I don’t think anything will. Perhaps you’ll just have to suffer through it. I figured this would be a consequence of not having other snarky Twitter users, but I didn’t expect to really wish I had them keeping me company. How their commentary would’ve been so welcome and refreshing. Definitely a step up from what I ultimately sat through.

What that was, once more, was a boring and uneventful movie. It was beyond paint by numbers. It didn’t have any effort. A too simplistic story with no stakes, the typical amount of stupidity form every character, and surprisingly, so few deaths. If you want to thrill and please me with a SyFy TV movie, include a lot of deaths, and make sure they’re gory.

A lot isn’t typically asked from TV movies. Be entertaining and enjoyable. Low bar, when one really thinks about it. However, for every couple of successful TV movies, you’re going to get at least one, if not many more, that are less than stellar. In so many ways, this keeps you grounded. You never truly forget what type of movie you’re going to be watching.


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