When a film uses a quote from a “Mental Health Specialist” on its DVD cover, you know something is going to be a little off, and Dave O’Shea’s Day Job goes to more than a few disturbing and disgusting places before it is over. The problem is, at 137 minutes long, the film starts to feel like a day job just to watch it.
The film centers around Nick (Dave O’Shea), a cable guy with some severe mental issues. As he goes about his day, each home visit appointment becomes a set-up for some deviant and violent behavior later on. See, the title Day Job is trying to make a point that even fucked-up serial murderers and rapists need to make money somehow. In this case, it’s fixing cable.
And for the first 45 or so minutes of this film, that’s exactly what happens. While Nick definitely appears a bit creepy, more so aloof considering his shitty job (he deals with some obnoxious customers), the first bit of the film is just experiencing the grind with him. It’s slow, it’s painful and, yes, more than a bit boring. I get the point of setting the table, and with the violence that comes later I can see the idea of easing the audience in… but not this much.
When the film turns, and we get the first idea of how much of a real depraved individual Nick turns out to be, it piles on some intense bondage, abuse, rape and murder. You get the idea that all of this is going to end very, very badly… but then the pace slows up again and the film slowly works its way through Nick’s victims. For the sake of this tale, his “loving” gaze seems to focus on one particular housewife (Vanessa Guajardo), and he sets about basically taking out anyone and everyone around her, from a nosey neighbor (Nici Frontella) to her best friend (Lauren Stower) to her husband (Dominic Casazza).
To its gruesome credit, Day Job does manage to show me some depravity onscreen that I haven’t seen before (and, hopefully, never again). A sequence near the end involving male genitalia and a guy in a horse mask definitely sticks with you, while another moment involving a surprise visit from a co-worker and an ill-advised handshake is equally as disturbing, on an entirely different level.
Maybe I’m just another short attention span asshole, but I needed this to move quicker. I get the slow burn and I understand the idea of putting you through the same grind as the main character to set the stage, but it was just too much for me. While I feel that the film could easily drop about 30-45 minutes, I’d be lying if I could suggest exactly how to do so without losing some of the later developments. Then again, considering how the film ends, maybe it doesn’t matter that much.
This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.