7 Days (Les 7 jours du talion) (2010)

Surgeon Bruno Hamel (Claude Legault) leads a normal middle-class life in a normal middle-class neighborhood. He loves his wife, Sylvie (Fanny Mallette), and the couple lavish attention on their only child, eight year old Jasmine (Rose-Marie Coallier). Their ideal life is torn apart when Jasmine goes missing,on the way to visit a nearby friend, and is later found raped and murdered. Bruno descends into darkness, wracked by feelings of guilt and unable to escape images of his daughter’s torment. When the prime suspect is caught and about to be brought to trial, Bruno devises a deadly plan in which he abducts the murderer, tortures him for 7 days and executes him. Will Bruno follow through on his plan; if so will he ever be the same again?

7 Days is full of memorable moments, many of which are for the wrong reasons. Consider before viewing this movie that you can’t un-see something that you have just watched. The scene in which Jasmine’s body is found, dumped on some wasteland, is extremely difficult to watch; the viewer is not spared any details and can fully empathise with Bruno as his world tumbles down – heartbreaking. During the torture of his daughter’s murderer Bruno uses his surgical skills at one point in a particularly inventive way; the result s are both fascinating and disgusting.

7 Days is a thriller and a horror, playing both genres effectively. The script is well written, the camerawork moody, and the characters are complex and real, with some excellent supporting roles; Herve Mercure (Remy Girard), the detective responsible for bringing Bruno in, is complex and deserves a special mention. The horror, when it comes, is graphic and manifests itself in brutally realistic torture scenes.

Think of 7 Days as a modern day revenge tragedy; often brutal, at times horrendous, sometimes frustrating but definitely watchable.

4 out of 5.

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