By Day’s End; A Pivotal LGBTQ+ Horror- Available 3/17/2020

February 28, 2020 0 By Tannis

This must-see movie is coming March 17th, 2020 to VOD and DVD.

Synopsis: Carly and Rina, a lesbian couple on the verge of breaking up, are down on their luck and forced to move in to a motel. But mending their relationship is put on hold when a pandemic disease that causes insatiable hunger ravages the world around them. Battling depression and a ravenous horde of flesh-eating zombies, they try to survive the apocalypse armed with only a video camera and a quickly dwindling supply of weapons. Love is never an easy road, and when they are forced to band together like never before, will it be enough to save them?

I was so, so excited for the chance to watch this film, as LGBTQ+ horror movies tend to be few and far between. The ones that do exist in the wider known films don’t typically paint queer characters in a favourable and real manner (I’m looking at you with side eye, High Tension), or fetishize lesbianism or bisexuality of women (hey, there, Lesbian Vampire Killers, I see you). I was absolutely and unequivocally not disappointed in any way, shape, or form by “By Day’s End.” This film cements itself firmly as a pivotal piece not just within the LGBTQ genre and the horror genre (which is a sorely needed and deeply appreciated addition), but also across all genres and types of film. Horror typically touts itself as a progressive, inclusive, feminist genre (via the final girl trope), yet it has been painfully lacking in positive LGBTQ+ characters and stories. “By Day’s End” answers the call for representation without pandering. Yet perhaps the most important thing, what truly makes this movie so important across all film genres, is the realism the cast and crew bring into the story of the lives of Rina and Carly.

Andrea Nelson and Lyndsey Lantz deliver exceptional performances as Rina and Carly, using their scripts expertly to create an environment of a tense relationship. As someone who spent a large portion of my life in heterosexual relationships, as well as queer relationships, I feel able to attest to the fact that the portrayal of a struggling couple is so realistic that any type of couple, throuple, or anyone who is or has been in a relationship can relate to. The writing and delivery, mixed with the impeccable camera work, create such a realistic scenario that it’s easy to believe you’re watching a real couple struggle; a couple that could be anyone you know, as their issues and struggles are ones shared across all groups of adults in the modern age, regardless of gender and sexuality.

The realism of the film is truly a stand-out accomplishment, not only portraying the struggles of realistic couples, but also in exploring the issues of body-image and women in the workforce. It explores the themes of life- not just an LGBTQ life, but of all people. The characters are truly relatable no matter who you are as a result of the impeccable performances, writing, set design, make-up and effects, and perhaps most of all- the camera work.

While I typically tend not to lean towards the found-footage form of film making, it really pays off in “By Day’s End.” Zombie movies lend themselves better to this form of shooting than other subgenres of horror movies, and the story this movie tells is amplified by the style. If you liked any of the movies in the Spanish series of movies “REC,” you will absolutely adore “By Day’s End.” While the movie very vastly differs from the “REC” franchise in content, themes, settings, and found-footage stylistic choices, it is a welcome addition to the exceptional pantheon of found-footage zombie apocalypse narratives. As opposed to the sleek and smooth style that traditional camera work provides, the found-footage style allows the audience to see the characters and feel their emotions on a much more personal level than could be achieved otherwise. The style of the camera work allows the audience a sneak-peek into the lives of Rina and Carly, which creates an atmosphere of connection to the characters. In addition, the stylized found footage allows the audience glimpses into the chaos outside of their home with seamless transitions into their home, creating a sense of tension that would otherwise be lost through a different mode of shooting.

While I naturally expected to like this movie as a queer woman and a total nerd for horror movies, I was blown away by just how excellent this film is. “By Day’s End” is a deeply affective portrayal of human nature in the face of fear, chaos, and loss. If I tried to say something negative about any aspect of this movie, I would be bold-faced lying; everything within it is executed perfectly to truly feel for the characters, experience the tension as the seeds of the virus grow, and feel their fear and pain as the outbreak occurs. From the camera work to the make-up, from the performances to the script, from the lighting to the sets, this movie is designed without flaw for an immersive viewing experience. I cannot recommend this movie enough, and I cannot wait for the release so I can purchase my own copy to watch with literally everyone I know