DAY OF RECKONING (2016) Reviews and overview

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‘Hell will rise’

Day of Reckoning is a 2016 American science-fiction action horror feature film directed by Joel Novoa from a screenplay by Gregory Gieras (Big Ass Spider!; Centipede!; Dark Asylum) for Epic Pictures.


Main cast:

Raymond J. Barry (Flight of the Living Dead; Christmas Evil), Jackson Hurst (Wraith; The Mist), Barbara Crampton (Death House; We Are Still Here; Re-Animator), Heather screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-18-02-17McComb (Paranormal Abduction; Shark Swarm), Hana Hayes, Nick Gomez, Daz Crawford, Randy Vasquez, Jay Jay Warren, Vaughn Wilkinson, Maz Siam, Ricardo Chacon,  Luis E. Carazo, Timothy Snyder.


Sixteen years ago, during an eclipse, Earth was attacked by a pack of dogs from Hell. That’s not just me being overdramatic. Fissures literally formed in the ground and these dogs sprang out from the depths of Hell. For 24 hours, the hellhounds terrorised and killed.

And then, much like a wealthy, mask-wearing murderer at the end of the annual Purge, they just vanished. Naturally, the survivors built barriers over the fissures and hoped that the dogs would never return. But now, another eclipse is approaching and some people are terrified that it’s going to happen again.

And you know what? Those people are right.


Day of Reckoning follows one family and their effort to get to safety during the canine apocalypse.  The father (Jackson Hurst) is still feeling guilty for not being home when the dogs first showed up.  He’s determined not to fail his family for a second time.  His wife (Heather McComb), meanwhile, just wants a divorce and his teenage son (Jay Jay Warren) just wants to hang out with his girlfriend.

Fortunately, a crazy uncle is coming to the rescue!  Crazy Uncle Ted (Raymond J. Barry) has built an underground bunker and he’s invited the family to come join him and his wife (Barbara Crampton). However, the family first has to reach the shelter and that’s going to mean dealing with not only dogs but a lot of stupid people as well. You know how that goes. Can the family survive 24 hours of hellhound purging?

Crazy Uncles have been getting blamed for a lot lately. As of right now, you can go to about a hundred different sites and find all sorts of guides for how to talk to your crazy uncle during Thanksgiving. Apparently, the solution is to repeat tired soundbites. Personally, I would think a better solution would be not to worry about it and just enjoy your holiday but what the Hell do I know? With the character of Ted, Day of Reckoning pays tribute to the occasional wisdom of the crazy uncle and therefore, it’s essential Thanksgiving viewing.

Beyond that, Day of Reckoning is pretty much a typical SyFy film. It’s a bit more serious than most but, ultimately, it follows the same pattern. A group of characters have to get from one location to another without getting killed by a paranormal threat. It won’t take you by surprise but Raymond J. Barry and Barbara Crampton are both well-cast and, if you’re a fan of Syfy movies, you’ll probably enjoy Day of Reckoning.

Other reviews:

“The script makes no attempt to offer any explanations for the attacks, which is realistic but also frustrating at times. It would have been nice to have more of a plot then how our heroes get from point A to point B. But while there’s nothing new here, it’s still an entertaining popcorn film.” MovieCritic NextDoor, The Slaughtered Bird

“At one point, glimpses of Big Ass Spider! are seen on a handy TV, which prompted me to wonder whether a world which had suffered an actual invasion by monsters would need to make low-rent comedy-horror monster movies … but also to note how unusually sombre this is, downplaying the usual humour and taking family soap seriously (if not with anything like depth). Gomez gives the standard Asshole Who Makes Things Worse character a low-key intensity which keeps his scenes edgy and unpredictable (until he gets got by a giant caterpillar thing).” The Kim Newman Web Site

Filming locations:

Santa Clarita, California

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