LA Horror Review: “Day Job”

I knew I was going to have a nightmare about 45 minutes into Dave O’Shea’s film, “Day Job.”  It was just one of those feelings I had, and it came true.  A couple of hours after finishing the movie, I found myself in bed, startled, after reliving some of the moments in my dreams.  It’s now been 24 hours since I watched it, and I’m slightly anxious to go to sleep again.

Nick (Dave O’Shea) is your struggling, lower-to-middle class cable guy.  He drives the van, fixes your signal and connects your TV, nothing unusual there.  However, its Nick’s hobbies outside of his day job that really make this film an experience, including but not limited to rape, torture and necrophilia.  We quickly realize that Nick is certainly not the normal guy he appears to be to his clients, and that his world outside of work is less than savory.

A film like this deserves recognition, and I certainly hope it eventually gets it.  Quadruple threat O’Shea (writer, director, producer, actor) has put together something incredibly disturbing and original – a story so flush with true characters, absolute savage violence and unforgettably disturbing imagery throughout. Simply put, “Day Job” is unlike any horror film I’ve ever seen before and completely caught me off guard.  This film, much like the main character, invades your space and imposes its will upon you.

Now that being said, a film of this intensity is certainly tailored for a specific audience – this is NOT your average serial killer film and its rawness will no doubt turn off casual horror viewers, but that’s quite all right.  This movie was never intended for them anyways.  Only the most depraved, disgusting and deeply disturbed horror fans will see this film for what it truly is: an unrelenting tour de force of violent perversion and terror.  This was my kind of movie!

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not one of those films that is violent for the sake of violence, and while it is extreme it always serves a purpose to the story, and this story is good.  The script for “Day Job” is the film’s biggest strength.  Each character, big or small, is relevant to the overall arc of the story, and there is absolutely no fodder in this film.  The story plays like a drama, or even a mystery, in the sense that each relationship is important; there are many little things that come back to slap you in the face.  There were many “Oh, hell no; how did I not see that coming?!” moments in this film and the ending was simply jaw dropping.  I found myself watching re-runs of “Seinfeld” immediately after viewing this film to try to get my mind on something a little lighter.

The only problem with this film, and unfortunately one that may turn off less patient viewers, is its appearance.  This is a low budget film, but it’s watchable.  In fact, the gritty texture adds to its perverted charm – there are many horror films of similar quality that could only hope to be as good as “Day Job.”  But even through all of that, it’s clearly a labor of love for O’Shea and he succeeds where he needs to – you can see every frame and you can hear every line.

Now I say this with the utmost sincerity:  I LOVED this movie.  I intend on watching it again in the very near future and highly recommend it to anyone who has a morbid curiosity for the filthiest of horror.  Given the right opportunities, this film could send an oily shockwave through all those who dare seek it.  My challenge to you if you do eventually have the pleasure of viewing this film:  watch every single scene and don’t look away.  Trust me, it’s not as easy as it sounds.  Sweet dreams.

“Day Job” will be hitting festivals this year.  For more on Dave O’Shea, please check out his official website.  Also be sure to follow “Day Job” on Facebook.

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