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The Independent Critic

Lauren Fox, Lukas Hassel, Malcolm Madera
Jeremiah Kipp
Joseph Fiorillo

 "The Days God Slept" a Cinematic Prayer that Haunts and Heals 
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"I can love anyone for three minutes."

It's true. Ya' know? I CAN love anyone for three minutes, though I think that's not particularly uncommon for writers or at least for good writers. I can love anyone for right about three minutes or for as long as it takes to find a decent story or a moment of inspiration that allows me to crawl back to my keyboard and churn out yet another story idea while my three minute inspiration slips quietly out the back door.

The Days God Slept isn't about me, of course, and I'm fairly sure that writer Joseph Fiorillo and director Jeremiah Kipp don't really know me or my story or my sordid history with love and lust and God and everything in between. No, The Days God Slept isn't about me but it sure does feel deeply personal and yet universal at the very same time. It's a story that maybe you've lived, though it's a story that you may not have ever told anyone because nobody ever bothered to ask.

If you look like a dentist, maybe you've lived out this story.

Maybe not.

The Days God Slept sort of lingers in a cinematic world somewhere between Atom Egoyan and Darren Aronofsky, but with a voice all its own that penetrates your psyche' and demands your attention by whispering sweet nothings that will make you fidget and quake and might even turn you on if you're willing to admit it. Kristy (Lauren Fox, Pi and We Need to Talk About Kevin) is a dancer at an unusual gentleman's club, a weird and wonderful little place where everyone's presence feels ominous and where it feels like you're as likely to come to Jesus as you are to settle back for what feels like an otherworldly lap dance of sorts.

It's in this club that Kristy encounters John (Malcolm Madera), a seeming isle of normalcy adrift amidst an ocean of perverse purveyors of momentary pleasures. John is different than the other men, perhaps longing for true connection in a world where truth and fantasy cautiously cross paths. Kristy comes to trust John, though one can never be truly certain how much you can get to know someone who lives in a world where fantasy and pain and lust are like fairy dust sprinkled over any thoughts of love and faith and commitment.

John wants to know more about Kristy, but knowing more might be knowing too much to ever love her. There might be things that are better left inside no matter how much the journey seems ordained by God or by faith or by some spirit other than the one bulging inside one's pants. John listens to Kristy's story, a story with Carl (Lukas Hassel),  a story that should feel tragic or revolting or perverse but there's sometimes pleasure to be found within the pain and, as I noted at the beginning of this review sometimes, well most of the time, you can love anyone for three minutes.

The Days God Slept is the kind of film that makes you think and it makes you feel and it makes you question yourself and maybe even everyone around you. It may not mean to you what it meant to me as I reflected upon the stripper that I once married and the perky cheerleader I once dated who decided to stop dating me after reading my story and realizing I wasn't the vision of innocence she'd envisioned.

Life doesn't always work like that, ya' know?

Lauren Fox is tremendous here as Kristy, a vision of both sensuality and innocence that makes her the sort of girl next door that ends up tied to your bed with pink fur handcuffs and a smile on her face. Fox exudes a sort of weary and worldly warmth like the painted on smiles one often finds in the seedy strip joints. Madera is strong, as well, as a young man who really does look like a dentist in those glasses yet it's exactly those types you often have to worry about the most. Finally, there's Denmark born actor Lukas Hassel as Carl, whose penetrating presence is, well, penetrating. Hassel's Carl is the kind of guy you expect to find in this kind of joint so it's kind of hard to hold it against him when you get exactly what you expect.

The Days God Slept includes a magnificent and mood-setting original score from Friday the 13th vet Harry Manfredini, while D.P. Dominick Sivilli's lensing makes perfect use of shadows to evoke both a sense of horror and a sense of intimacy.

You know, sometimes horror and intimacy can peacefully co-exist.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic