Fantasia 2021 Capsule Review: On the 3rd Day

One of the best parts of Fantasia Film Festival is getting to see some stunning international genre films you might not otherwise hear about. On the 3rd Day is an eerie horror film from Argentina. Director Daniel de la Vega (White Coffin, Necrophobia 3D) does a wonderful job of bringing the screenplay by Alberto Fasce (Los inquilinos del infierno, Morko y Mali) and Gonzalo Ventura to life. In this film, Cecilia (Mariana Anghileri) takes her son Martín (Octavio Belmonte) on a trip. They get into a car accident and Cecilia wakes up three days later with no memory of what happened and her son is missing. From there the film takes the audience on a dark, twisting path to discover the truth of what happened.

On the 3rd Day is a great lesson in building suspense. Almost at the beginning of the film, we know something horrific has happened, but we don’t know what. The filmmakers take a non-linear method of storytelling, relying primarily on flashbacks, in order to gradually reveal clues leading up to the final shocking moments. There is also a lot of unique mythos created for the film around some familiar concepts to horror fans, making things a bit more interesting. The pacing is perfect and the storytelling method perfectly keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. Anghileri gives an especially powerful performance as Cecilia, making sure the audience truly cares about what happened to her and her son. On top of that, On the 3rd Day has a beautiful musical score to add to the tension as well as delightfully disturbing practical effects. I will say, the practical effects for the final big reveal and an end-credit scene are not my favorite, but a majority of the film is near-perfect.

On the 3rd Day is a haunting, twisted tale of the lengths a mother will go to for her child.

OVERALL RATING: 8/10

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