High school friends Andre Kriegman and Cal Gabriel declare war on their classmates and plan a terrifying assault on their high school. As they begin the deadly countdown to their final act of revenge, the two start a video diary to explain their feelings and chronicle their mission.
“Zero Day” is an amazing film from start to finish. The entire film is viewed through the hand held camera of one of the boys, which makes for a raw and realistic portrayal of events. First time writer/director Ben Coccio gives us a disturbing look into the lives of two young people that seems so real and genuine that the viewer is left asking the question, “This is fake right?”.
Coccio knows how to play off of emotions, he knows exactly what needs to be seen, what’s interesting, and he knows what to leave out. Given the delicate subject matter, he really uses it respectfully. I’m very interested to see what he can pull off next. You more than likely walk by people like Cal and Andre every day of your lives. Or you probably knew someone just like them at some point in your life. That’s the most frightening thing. These are seemingly normal kids.
First time actors Andre Keuck and Calvin Robertson are absolutely brilliant, giving life to the characters they portray. Their natural flow of actions and language structure gives the film its authenticity. The obvious and dominant influence of the film is Columbine. (Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris) We’ve all heard about the shootings, “Zero Day” takes us deeper, it’s focus is on the relationship between the boys and the painfully normal surroundings of their every day lives. There’s interaction with their families, friends, etc, and their families are so caring and loving towards them, again it’s a wonder why something like this would happen.
So you’re left wondering, why does something like this happen? Throughout the film Andre and Cal insist that there are no reasons. You’re going to look but you aren’t going to find any. In other conversations they talk about being bullied and called names throughout their high school lives. They also claim this attack to be their wake up call to the rest of the town, to the rest of the world. This is their way of showing them. “Life’s not fair, so we’ve gotta even the score a little.” The film is filled with disturbing and saddening dialogue. Many other aspects of, “why they did it” are explored such as the scapegoat that movies, music, TV, video games, etc. made them do it. It was the stuff that people blamed because they were just too stupid or too ignorant to realize otherwise, or to look elsewhere. The film plays on many emotions. One minute you’re there with them like friends and then, in an instant, they’re threatening your life. I think a lot of it has to do with fear. The fear of rejection, acceptance, failure, realization, it doesn’t matter. Fear consumes.
“Zero Day” is an amazing piece of work and I think everyone should view it. You don’t just watch it, you live it.