THE DAY, another in a long, lonnnng line of post-Apocalyptic, us-vs-them films, does something worthy of celebration: It shows us that, indeed, the outskirts of Ottawa need very little manipulation to appear convincingly as an end-of-world locale.

It’s always a good sign when a film demonstrates early on that infact anything is possible. Too often with films of this ilk there’s really no sense of jeopardy for our characters, we know that in the end a few will live to see another day, and only the more obvious ones will bite it. When moments into the film we see the brutal killing of an infant on screen, our expectations are shattered – anything can happen, so we might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.

Our only real name actor here is Dominic Monaghan of LORD OF THE RINGS fame, but the ensemble that he works with do a good job of creating unique characters without relying too much on overt showboating to distinguish them from the pack. When the group finds a house in which they can find refuge, they soon realize that it’s in fact a trap. Through some pretty clever and well executed moments, our characters are put in peril, leading to a final confrontation with those seeking their prey.

The film takes the time to provide ample moments of dramatic tension, making the dialogue sequences more than just time kills between action sequences. Similarly, the female characters are drawn strongly, equal to their counterparts but not so unrealistically superheroic that they fall in to that tired trap of the 90 pound woman taking on the 300lb gorilla without injury.

THE DAY doesn’t entirely live up to its promise, but its a well paced action flick made by intelligent filmmakers well versed in this genre. By being grounded in past successes and carving out its own unique flavor for the sub-genre, THE DAY manages quite well to be both provocative and entertaining to the last man person standing.