CHENNAI: “The Third Day,” which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and is now available on OSN in the Middle East, neatly slips into the psychological horror genre, but the miniseries has been created with superb subtlety. We hardly see the horror, maybe a glimpse of it, but feel it in every frame, every movement.
Divided into three parts – “Summer,” “Autumn” and “Winter” – HBO miniseries “The Third Day” takes us along with Jude Law, who plays the role of Sam. Married with three children and out in the British woods for the day, he is near the sea when he sees a young girl, Epona (Jessie Ross), about to hang herself. Sam saves her and takes her home to her strange island, Osea, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway that is only usable during low tide.
The people who live there are eerily strange. With phone lines dead and mobile signals down, Sam is greeted by a Mr Martin (Paddy Considine). He is unusually friendly, offering drinks on the house in his restaurant and a room for Sam to spend the night when he misses his chance to leave due to the tide. But Mrs Martin (Emily Watson) is hostile and a townsman even threatens our visitor with a gun.
It does not take us long to realize what Sam has gotten himself into on the island that is home to a population that engages in archaic, brutal faith practices. Our panic rises and what he chances upon later would send a shiver down the spine of even the most hardened TV viewer.
Created by Felix Barrett and Dennis Kelly, “The Third Day” is structured in an unusual way — unfolding in three parts, “Summer,” which is about Sam’s time on Osea, “Winter,” which follows Helen (Naomie Harris) and her two daughters visiting the same island and “Autumn,” a 12-hour live theatrical special that will be telecast.
In the first part, the one performance that really stands out is Law’s. He is brilliant, his body language and expressions conveying extreme fear, bewilderment and shock. It is a part that could very well fetch him a few trophies on the upcoming awards circuit.