2015’s Darkest Day is a micro- budget British zombie movie (apparently it cost less than £1000) that manages to overcome any financial limitations to be an enjoyable romp with enough visual pizazz to make it worth the time of genre fans.
Director Dan Rickard stars as Dan, a young man who wakes on a Brighton beach. He has no recollection what has happened or how he got there. Usually things like this are drink related, but Dan isn’t that lucky – he’s managed to find himself smack-dab in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
At times low-budget means low quality – but not in the case of Darkest Day. Dan Rickard’s film has a lot of energy and he gives the film a visual sheen that’s head and shoulders above a lot of low budget horrors. Rickard opens his film up in a way that few genre filmmakers know how, creating a sense of scope that hasn’t been seen in the genre’s non-Hollywood efforts since Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later. The director litters his film with wonderful CGI that at times appears seamless when integrated into his gritty visuals. It has to be seen to be believed. The soundtrack by Wilx is also rather good, adding the right notes to the action and drama scenes alike.
The performances and script of Darkest Day let the side-down somewhat – they’re not terrible but you can tell that the film’s cast is largely made up of non-actors. I’m sure that Rickard would be the first to admit that he was more keen on just making his film than worrying about the script. He holds it together though and overcomes many of the pitfalls that this type of film can have.
Darkest Day is a must for fans of the zombie genre and low budget movie enthusiasts. It’s a wonderfully made little film that shows director Dan Rickard has the chops to have a strong career behind the camera.