USA | 92 MINUTES | English |
THE 24TH DAY
Working from his own critically acclaimed play, Tony Piccirillo constructs a dark and intense psychological thriller with The 24th Day. Though predominantly set in one location, Piccirillo uses the confines of the setting to build on the claustrophobic intensity of the story and garner tour de force performances from Scott Speedman and James Marsden. Tom (Speedman) meets Dan (Marsden) in a bar and the two quickly end up at Tom's apartment. Dan thinks he's in for a standard one-night stand, but Tom, whose wife recently died, instead grills Dan about his past sexual exploits. It is this past that catapults the story into a gripping tale of he said-he said, leading one to take the other hostage and demand answers over a tensely escalating 48 hours. Piccirillo proves himself a master of manipulation by pitting the characters against each other so that both appear trustworthy and likable, but also despicable and selfish, then he leaves us to decide whom and what to believe. The brilliant performances heighten the escalating tension and suspense: Speedman's sexually tormented Tom is the perfect antagonist to Marsden's cunning, stoic, and equally antagonistic Dan. The 24th Day is a taut psychological thriller that offers a meaningful critique of personal responsibility in private lives while keeping viewers guessing right up to the end.