If the purge were real, the only thing we would do is get the basement tapes.
Zero Day (Ben Coccio, 2003) follows two boys’ lives in the weeks leading up to a tragic school shooting. This pair, however, happen to be the antagonists in their own story.
Shot in a mockumentary/found-footage format, we step into the daily affairs of Cal and Andre (Cal Robertson and Andre Keuck, respectively), two adolescents who never appear to suggest any underlying delusions or hints of insanity. They start the film off by deciding upon carrying out a goal and spend the rest of the film living out their lives as their goal gets pushed further and further away. Where they see intent and ambition, we see horror and regret. It is due to this that the film manages to be far more poignant and frightening than the vast majority of thrillers gracing our theaters.
Shot not long after the Columbine Massacre (and closer still, to the events of September 11th), audiences were still quite uneasy with the idea of humanizing two individuals who could be capable of causing such great harm to others. Seemingly trivializing the events, film like these were shunned. However, as we have come to learn, the awareness raised by these films surpasses any harm that could possibly be done by the cast or creators.
Apart from humanizing these killers, we slowly come to find numerous similarities between them and ourselves. Juxtaposing circumstances and events, we can clearly begin to relate to and admire these two boys as they begin their attempt to make sense of the world that they were placed into.
Regardless of intent or time and release, this film serves as an important reminder that those who commit even the most heinous crimes are not too far off from the people who inhabit our very homes.
Even at crappy resolution he’s cute!
Angst-filled Eric doesn’t mess around
One of Dylan’s drawings.