Title: Bad Day for the Cut
Director: Chris Baugh
Actor(s): Nigel O’Neill, Jozef Pawlowski
Genre: Crime Thriller
Runtime: 1 hour 39 minutes
With echoes of Jeremy Saulnier’s sublime 2013 indie film Blue Ruin, Bad Day for the Cut is a darkly comedic meditation on the futile and cyclical nature of vengeance. Donal (Nigel O’Neill) is a hard-working farmer and mummy’s boy who is committed to taking care of his mom (Stella McCusker) in her declining health.
When his mom gets beaten to death during a home invasion, Donal goes on a quest for revenge and crosses paths with Bartosz (Jozef Pawlowski,) a wayward youth whose sister (Anna Prochniak) is being sexually trafficked. He and Bartosz end up teaming up when they realize that Donal’s mom’s killer is the same person who’s holding Bartosz’s sister captive.
I was expecting Donal to be more of an incompetent vigilante who was way out of his depth (like Dwight in Blue Ruin) and while that was somewhat true, he was a lot more capable than I would have expected. I was definitely curious where he got his seemingly easy familiarity with torture and violence.
Donal thinks his mom is this wonderful, kind-hearted woman but as the film progresses he starts to realize that the truth is much darker than he originally thought. Donal and Bartosz (as well as Bartosz’s sister) are interesting characters and I liked watching the way they played off each other. The antagonists are not quite what you would expect and add their own kind of flavor to this bleak but nevertheless enjoyable film.