Zero Day (2003) Poster

(2003)

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10/10
A riveting film!
mfuson7711 July 2005
I rented Zero Day from the local video store last week. I had never heard of the film and I had my reservations about it. Just from looking at the box I knew the film was an Indie film and therefore the quality was going to be less than a mainstream film.

I can tell you that after I finished watching Zero Day I immediately started it from the beginning again. The film was clearly following the basic outline of what happened at Columbine High School of April of 1999, but what struck me was how believable the two lead actors were. My first time through watching this film I wasn't entirely sure if what I was watching were actual tapes left behind by the shooters at Columbine. In the back of my mind I knew what I was watching could not be real but at the same time the acting was so convincing you had to keep giving your head a shake.

Is the film disturbing? Absolutely! Are you going to see things that will make you question the merit of the film? Probably. I think what most people will find disturbing is they will actually have feelings for the two lead characters, Calvin and Andre (Played by Cal Robertson and Andre Keuck). Why is that problematic for some people? Calvin and Andre are planning a massacre at their high school. I know for myself, I felt an immense sadness for Andre and Calvin. I had empathy for them because their lives had come to such a horrific point. They had fallen so deeply through cracks that they had begun a journey down a road which could have been stopped, if only people around them had taken notice to their plight.

Zero Day is a phenomenal film. It gives you an up close and personal look to events that most of us will only ever see the conclusion to on the news. It leaves you thinking about the lives involved. And it leaves you perplexed how people get to this point. A week after seeing this film, I still think about it.

Those of you who have not seen Zero Day please keep in mind the following: The film is an independent with little to no budget and the film is shot on camcorders. The material in the film is disturbing. This is not mainstream Hollywood and there is no happy ending.

But if you can put all that aside, Zero Day is a film that will stick with you and just maybe help you to open your eyes a little.
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10/10
A brilliant, compelling and unique film that will change how you think about school shootings
p0isonous30 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
As always, controversial movies like this have mixed reviews. You either love it or you hate it, and not everyone will like this movie. This shows the perspective of the killers, which is something I personally feel is something important to consider. You may hate them, you may claim to understand them and feel as though you can relate, but regardless this movie will make you think about school shootings from a different perspective.

The movie is shot entirely using a hand-held camera, something that I think works quite well as it makes it more realistic. It is told completely from the killers point of view, from their "missions" to family outings, all leading up the big day "Zero Day" in which they are planning on a massacre at their school. Zero Day does not offer answers, but merely presents a glimpse at the lives of two troubled young boys and lets the audience decide for themselves. Our feelings towards the boys are something mixed between sympathy and hatred, but yet we are left confused as to why two ordinary young boys would do such a thing. They are shown to be surprisingly normal, typical teenage boys leading ordinary lives, and if we didn't know what they were planning we wouldn't expect a thing (They make it clear throughout the whole movie that no-one else knows about their plan)

The acting is extremely good considering the two actors are complete unknowns. We can only hope to see more work from the both of them in the future. Despite how this is a fictionalized movie, one cannot help but notice the obvious similarities to Columbine. Calvin and Andre are scarily similar to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, (not so much in looks, but in manner) As someone who has researched Columbine very extensively, I could see the similarities and it is almost certainly based on it.

The actual massacre is shown through surveillance cameras at the school and is one of the most chilling things I have ever seen. I was completely in shock after seeing it, and its a feeling that stays around for a while. It is very realistic and well-done, and it is very difficult to watch.

All in all Zero Day is an excellent movie, and I think everyone should at least check it out. In the past, we have always simply branded killers "psychopaths" and assumed that either they were biologically wired for disaster or had media influence, but as Zero Day shows sometimes the motives are deeper than that, and we can never truly understand why tragedies such as school shootings happen until we have seen it from the perspective of the killers.
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Not your average movie... a good thing.
matthewmrussell30 September 2003
I agree with a lot of what is said in this movie about people blaming the media for molding them into who they are. Also, they took a rather taboo topic and did a very good job documenting what 'could' have happened.

I watch a lot of movies, many of them random movies that I end up wanting hours of my life back for, this was not a movie that I regret seeing and believe me, I don't use those words lightly.
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10/10
Flawed but honest with a terrible honesty
meinong14 September 2005
Zero Day leads you to think, even re-think why two boys/young men would do what they did - commit mutual suicide via slaughtering their classmates. It captures what must be beyond a bizarre mode of being for two humans who have decided to withdraw from common civility in order to define their own/mutual world via coupled destruction.

It is not a perfect movie but given what money/time the filmmaker and actors had - it is a remarkable product. In terms of explaining the motives and actions of the two young suicide/murderers it is better than 'Elephant' - in terms of being a film that gets under our 'rationalistic' skin it is a far, far better film than almost anything you are likely to see.

Flawed but honest with a terrible honesty.
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9/10
Realism pushed to it's scary limits
benoitlelievre14 July 2005
I just came back from the Montreal premiere of Zero Day...and i'm surprised as hell to find a negative comment on the movie. Basically the blame is about Coccio doing an easy and overplayed social message...well, Mr-I'm-a-reviewer, it's an easy and overplayed critic of movies with a social charge.

Not that I want to expose my life here, but I come from a small town with a similar school than these guys go. Reject & ignorance on the menu. Thing is...I understand how can young kids can be driven to do such horror. High schools have became battle fields of conformity. It's a real ugly sight. You need to fight your way into being like the others. It's hard to explain, bit a lot of people dosen't realize that high schools are becoming cemeteries of human intelligence. Meanwhile, parents are closing their eyes and smiling about how their life in their comfortable suburb is perfect.

The real motive of the movie isn't about what is driving them. It's about this death-like calm suburb and everybody closing their eyes and trying to create this atmosphere of a perfect town. Cal expressed it well. It's a wake up call. Drama is everywhere and it can take every shape. In that case little dramas(like Andre being called a faggot for wearing a J.C Penny shirt) are shaping into being the worse nightmare of a whole town. Andre & Cal took the most extreme way to express their pain. The malaise of unconformity in an era where you need more than ever to be like the others to be accepted.

I like particularly the last scenes where some guys are burning the crosses of Andre & Cal, like if with the pain they communicated, Cal & Andre have communicated their blind rage to their community, their refusal to think about the causes of some acts.

It might seemed aggressive as a movie, but Coccio is meditating more than whining or enunciating. What Andre & Cal are living is a reality...and a scary one that might get to other kids.

Disturbing movie...Home making and strong feeling made Ben Coccio do a very very disturbing movie.
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8/10
Movie for the stomach
Joost Verduin24 January 2004
Saw this movie at the Rotterdam IFF. You may question some decisions of the maker - like choosing a mockumentary form for such a sensitive and horrible subject - but this movie sure hits you in the gut. Especially the last scenes were almost painful to watch. Hope it gets the distribution it deserves.
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8/10
Wholly unique and captivating portrayal
Dorian Kellaway26 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Zero day has a purpose and this is not simply entertainment, it delivers a message about its specialised subject school shootings. Charting the lives of two friends Andre and Cal leading up to an attack on their high school.

Whilst the movie started in somewhat unassuming fashion, an impromptu announcement of the coming attack in amateurish teenage style followed by some brief encounters with the boys families. It is not long before we are down to business with the boys showing us their collection of guns, their fetishistic love of them, their sprawling sporadic narcissistic fantasies and even in a controversial scene how to build pipe bombs.

So what is the movie trying to say? What is really motivating these soon to be killers. It seems hard to really pinpoint. They certainly do not come across as cold blooded psychopaths yet they are planning an act of sheer brutality. This brings me to what I feel is the genius in part of Zero day. Cal and Andre talk constantly about how much they are on a different level, how above the rest of us they are and how they will 'leave us all behind.' Like the columbine killers they truly feel superior. Like Nietzsche's res sentiment Cal and Andre's value system seems to have been born out of rejection from their society. Yet we are given only glimpses of this, an expression of hatred for a popular athlete for example. So where is the motivation? What I feel is that Coccio portrayed two individuals desperate to make a statement of superiority a gesture of their power yet who have no reasonable venue for it. Hence they turn to mass murder and the kind of which that will garner them more attention than they could ever realise. This is why in part school shooters seem able to carry out atrocious acts despite coming from good stable loving homes. The murder is part of a fantasy, Cal and Andre are totally lost in their fantasy they almost fail to see the reality of their actions. They turn fantasy into tragedy.

What is secondly most enthralling about this film is the character development and the unique dependence Cal and Andre have on each other. Andre is throughout the film overtly the leader of the two, Cal's embrace of his demeanour and attire seem somewhat forced. Andre is uptight, Andre is intense and serious. He completely shuns others except for his family, he is meticulous and precise about everything he does and for a while appears the prime mover in the plot to attack the school. Yet he is likable in his own way, he does not embrace teenage nonsense and in part we feel compelled to agree with him, yet these moments are shattered by Andre's fleeting gestures of violence towards us the audience treating us as both confidante and potential victim. Cal on the other hand seems more relaxed than Andre, more accepting of reality. Yet he is in his own way dominant. We have many personal moments of introspection with Cal's video diary, scenes when he is alone and apart from Andre. Cal seems to be struggling with his own personal demons and using their plan to exorcise himself of them. Andre is jealous of Cal going to the prom with an old friend, he wants Cal all to himself. Cal placates Andre and encourages him. For the first time in his life Andre seems to have found someone who believes in him and who admires him he cannot lose it. Whilst Cal has found someone offering him a way out.

The movie certainly picks up pace and improves as it nears its grim conclusion. There is an excellent moment when Cal attends the high school prom. Suddenly the star of the movie becomes shy and introverted, not at all at ease with his peers. Yet we are inclined to feel more connection with Cal than with the raucous bawdy crowd screaming juvenile obscenities whilst drinking heavily in their limo. Theirs is an episode all too common and recognisable. We do not want to relate to them, when it is over and Cal is back with Andre silently preparing one of their final videos we like the characters feel once again at ease safe in the fantasy world they created. We feel like shunning the masses as they have.

The penultimate scene is superb. The final video sees Andre and Cal arming themselves in their car just moments before attacking. It is all too real and truly creates a sense of impending doom. By know we know Cal and Andre and are realising they are about to actually do it, with a kind of morbid fascination we are also relishing the films catharsis.

The massacre shot in CCTV fashion is at times shocking, and whilst it was certainly the perfect choice to depict the massacre if we were going to it is not void of flaws. What is most significant is the sudden radical change of perception we have of Cal and Andre, looking at them in the this person suddenly they are the callous killers we knew they would become yet refused to acknowledge that they would. It is violent and real, our heroes have become monsters and the reality of their fantasy is a terrible tragedy, which costs them everything.

The final scene shows a group of teens filming themselves burning the crosses erected for Andre and cal in disgust that they have been memorialised. Having known Andre and Cal we can only feel almost a sadness that they are actually gone forever and that they certainly did not win anything.

Zero day is a must see for anyone interested in these violent acts sensationalised by the media. It is a character study well worth experiencing.
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10/10
Wow ... stunningly realistic and brilliantly made film!
fantomar29 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is one for the ages. First, I have to say after seeing this once, it became one of my all-time favorite movies. Why? Simple; Ben Coccio (writer, director)has put together a true piece of art. Where 99.9% of movies these days are purely entertainment, director Ben Coccio gives us truth, gives us reality, gives us a learning tool to know why this happened. The mainstream media spins and spins but Ben Coccio looks school shootings right in the face, able to go where no other form of media has EVER gone before, into the minds and hearts of two young men planning to kill their classmates. While it surely is graphic and horrifying, how couldn't it be? The gloves come off, the lies and the sugar coating of our media masters is brushed aside and we are taken to a place where we can find truth in what happened. Sometimes it isn't just a screw loose like everyone likes to think, no, sometimes hatred and isolation are deeper, are more human, we are shown that these boys are us and we them. Society left them behind and the consequences are horrifying and real.

Respect and love your fellow man. A lesson we all should learn, thank you so much for making this film Mr. Coccio, I hope with great anticipation that you will continue your film-making career.
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10/10
stunning
drake-1210 December 2003
Cutting to the chase: This is one of the most amazing, most intense film I've seen in a long time. The first movie in years that left me absolutely staggered. I could barely feel my way out of the theatre, I was so overwhelmed.

I've been staring at the screen for about fifteen minutes trying to find some way to describe the power of this film, and just failing. Highlighting any one aspect of it -- the documentary-style video diary format, the unflinching portrayal of the events, the force of the characters -- just seems to trivialise it all. Some may find it laughable that any killer could be characterised as normal. But then not all killers are raving lunatics foaming at the mouth. Many are quite regular, unassuming people. They're just wired differently.

And that's perhaps the most chilling thought of all.
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9/10
In high school, you're told you can do anything you put your mind to.
moviewizguy5 October 2008
High school friends Andre Kriegman and Cal Gabriel declare war on their classmates and plan a terrifying assault on their high school. As they begin the deadly countdown to their final act of revenge, the two start a video diary to explain their feelings and chronicle their mission.

There is another similar movie like this, called "Elephant." Why do I bring this up? To compare the two films, of course. I have to say, even though I liked "Elephant," this is a much better film. What's the difference, you ask? Well, for starters, this is shot differently, much along the lines of "Cloverfield," "Blair Witch Project," and "Diary of the Dead." This makes the movie all the better because it's much more painfully realistic.

But what won me over was how the movie was willing to show the "other side of the story." You get to know these two shooters, unlike "Elephant." I actually cared for one of the shooters and could understand their actions and why they did what they did. This movie actually makes you feel sympathetic to these people and that's a good thing because it's not always black and white.

To be honest, this is why I almost cried in this movie. The characters are real human beings with logic and reasons behind their actions. You get to understand them. It's not like they want to kill people for attention. Overall, this film is emotionally gripping and very haunting and much better than "Elephant."
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9/10
a day to remember
the_crock3 August 2005
This movie is essentially shot on a hand held camera by the actors in it. In some ways a mockumentary in other ways a video diary from killers it is full on account of a "Columbine" style attack. While this movie does not answer all the big questions, it does give you an insight into how easy it would be to get away with. Through the movie you are shown how the actors illegally shortened shot guns, made pipe bombs and came up with an action plan for "Zero Day". The actors (if you can call them that) were brilliant, they obviously borrowed heavily from there own lives, but at no stage did I detect them really acting (Something Tom Cruise should try). The use of the CCTV and the 911 operator at the end was genius, but I'm not sure if we needed the very last scene. Overall though a really good movie on a very tough topic.
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8/10
Puts it in perspective
AVHer7713 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
In my honest opinion, everyone should see this movie at least once. It really put things in perspective as I watched it. Though it was fictional, this movie is about something that could happen to your children.

It shows how easily two kids can hide both their hatred for their school, and their plans to murder innocent students. This film would not have worked in any other format. They pulled off the hand-held camera, perfectly.

It reminds us of April 20th, 1999, when Eric Harris, and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and then themselves. It also reminds us of the media storm that followed after. Everyone wanted to see the Rampart video and everyone wanted to see the Basement tapes.

This movie is a fictional version of our dreams coming true. We get to see the kid behind the monster.

The only bad thing about this movie, is that it did not do well on the market, and few people even know it existed. If it would have had a single preview on a single blockbuster movie, everyone would have gone to see what the big deal was about, Zero Day.

I believe this is the best film adaptation of a school shooting of the few that have truly attempted it. The shooting itself only takes up about ten minutes of the hour and a half long film, because It mostly focuses on Cal and Andre, and what they did up to that point.

If you have not yet seen this movie, go rent it, and watch it. I guarantee that when it is finished, you will be speechless.
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10/10
My opinion on Zero day the movie and how it relates to Columbine.
zjbk18 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was excellent, a bit scary, but excellent at that. For those of you that have heard of columbine and know the story, it gives you a idea of what and why these kids did what they did. In the back of your mind you know that people think of this stuff, but you never realize just how bad it is, and this movie makes you realize. It's seriously that good. It also makes you think twice before you make fun of someone that's for sure. I read a book on the columbine massacre and it made me think, this movie makes me worry and scares me to death. On the downside it's like a how to kill someone guide for serial killers. I recently received a threat, and I blew it off thinking nothing of it, but after this movie I think you should take everything seriously. Some people are crazy and you never truly know which they are, so take it seriously and don't under estimate someone.
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10/10
A low-budget Movie, but so well done, I thought it was real
akarin_hime3 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Zero Day is a film few people have gotten to see, and what a shame that is.

When I saw the end, where the two main characters descend upon the room and mercilessly kill people, then commit suicide, and it made me grab my stomach. I was shaking, that's how strong this movie is.

The movie is amazing. It's too incredible not to get a perfect ten. It's sad that so few people understand the true beauty of this film. It is not a budget which makes a film good, it is the amount of feeling the makers put into it which makes it good.

It leaves a permanent impression in your mind that you simply cannot get out. It makes you realise the true horror of shootings- especially if you were to know that person, and this movie makes you feel like you know these people.

I recommend Zero Hour to those who feel they are mature enough to watch it. I am fourteen, and I feel that this film is just too amazing to be put into words. It feels like you're watching something that actually happened.
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S10 Reviews: Zero Day (2003)
suspiria1020 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Chris and Andre are two average, ordinary teens. Misunderstood by some and picked on by others. But together they stand and all will pay. Together they form "The Army of Two". They scheme and plan "Zero Day". That day is when they decide to storm their high school and inevitably murder 14 people in cold blood. Told through the tapes that they made "Zero Day", it is barely a fictionalized telling of the Columbine tragedy.

"Zero Day" is one of those movies that will mess with your head afterwards. The two main actors (Calvin Robertson and Andre Keuck) do such a good job that their characters seem like almost any disenfranchised teen walking the street. Their performances were very believable, you kinda liked these guys and that was scary. Shot on video almost totally from the teen's perspectives "Zero Day" feels very real and authentic, like you are right there. These kids try to rationalize their actions to the viewer and the actors sell it to you. But be warned it does follow the tragedy from beginning to end and the ending makes be shocking and uneasy for some.
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6/10
different
StanMakitadonuts26 January 2007
(Being on the basis of my understanding that this is based on the columbine "events") this is one of those "touchy" subjects, I would imagine there is some sort of debate on whether or not something like this should be made. I believe everyone has a right to do what they want with art, to a degree, my only issue with the movie it that it could be viewed for the wrong reasons, But it also may answer some questions for people interested in these kind of situations, and the moments leading up to them. I guess it's no differen't than an episode of "american justice" as far as getting into the minds of the troubled. But for what it's worth as a film, it did it's job of portraying the moment leading up to something so tragic
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10/10
a film that will make you panic, laugh, and think WOW
callum12931 August 2008
zero day is based of columbine high school massacre. and its a video diary of two boys. at first you don't know whats going to happen you think it is just a bad student film. until they start talking about the horrible things they are going to do in this quite school. until they start talking about pipe bombs and guns and going shooting in the woods. they is a lot to say about this movie. all know this film is well a film you forget you watching a film and watching a real video two boys made.

the two boys act like they are in a weird cult. they burn all there stuff. like play station games books dvds homework stuff school stuff. these two boys can be anybody your friends you brothers or the people you see walking down the street. it goes through there daily actives (and that is making a gun. in the videos they make it mentions the bullying that happens to them and how people said stuff about there clothes and the things you are into I'm not saying its right but many people do do things like that.

and also the thing is with this people are suspected to like it because of the sensitive topic they have chosen on this film.

so thats my review on zero day.

and lets just say the end shooting scene is messed up.
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7/10
interesting cinema verite movie
Lucy collier (deliverme15)20 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I am a big fan of cinema verite and saw this movie because I heard how interesting it was. I can honestly say it was very interesting indeed. The two lead actors are awesome, the film isn't ever boring, and the concept behind it (though obviously inspired by the Columbine killings and the home movies of the killers) is really interesting. There are some weaknesses, such as the final 20 minutes which really detracts from the realism seen in the first hour or so and the ending really doesn't make any sense at all. The shaky camera sometimes can be a distraction, but in cinema verite that is a given. But I still think the movie is very well done and the director Ben Coccio deserves some credit.
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One of the best movies !
Whacka Bhacka28 June 2006
This was a shocking movie indeed, like all the rest i really couldn't understand that those two teenagers could to that, after following them for one year, it felt like i got to know them, and you could really feel that they where nice guys, this is IMO one of the best movies i have ever seen, you can't really explain the power that this movie gives, it feels like you know them for real, and all you wanna do is to tell them to stop, or nvm i can't explain the power of the movie, you have to see it to feel it ! The thing about this movie that really got me shocked was the way they spoke, even tought they where about to go in to there own high school and kill young ppl, they was still acting like all other ppl, u know, they went to parties, made jokes to each other, was lauingh, u know you having a good time..

But seriously, i can't explain the movie it's just so damn good. And everyone should see this movie !
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9/10
Very well-done film based on the Columbine High School massacre
Otto9812526 August 2005
I am frankly surprised how little has been done in film on the Columbine Massacre. There isn't a major documentary, very puzzling. Fortunately we are graced with the talent of Ben Coccio who directed ZERO DAY, and Gus Van Sant who did the equally fine ELEPHANT. Two different takes on the event, which have in common the idea that the real cause of the massacre will always be a mystery, that there's something ultimately baffling and unknowable about the motivations of the two killers, and what actually drove them to carry it beyond fantasy into horrible reality. ZERO DAY, purportedly made up of videotapes made by the shooters and found after the event, is absolutely riveting. Even if you know where it's going, you still harbor hope that it WON'T "go there" ... and the tension in the final minutes of the movie is excruciating. The film is terrific from top to bottom, from director to script (not much improvised, though it appears very spontaneous) to the two lead actors, and the supporting players as well. There is only one aspect of ZERO DAY that troubled me. Okay, so we can't fathom why the shooters would do what they did, but certainly one of the contributors was their ANGER. Yet these boys don't really seem angry. They may say some things to indicate that they are, but in fact they didn't convince me that they had SOMETHING inside them that compelled them to kill innocent people. But this still leaves me with the sense of "why???" that director Coccio wants me to have. Anyway, rent or buy this movie, it will creep up on you and stay with you for a long time. The BLAIR WITCH folks could only WISH for the kind of success these guys had at making a mock documentary.
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10/10
.
cryslaro10 June 2005
This is the best movie I've come across in a long while. Not only is this the best movie of its kind(school shooting)The way Ben Coccio(the director) decided to film it was magnificent. He filmed it using teenage actors who were still attending high school. He filmed it in the actors own rooms and used the actors real parents as their parents in the film. Also the actors were filming too using camcorders making it seem much more like a video diary. It is almost artful.(if that is indeed a word)There are a few slip ups however, for example when Cal calls brads(?) land rover a range rover(or vice versa, It's been awhile since I've seen it)
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10/10
Unique telling of a disturbing story
cmurf10018 August 2003
What is most disturbing about this film is not that school killing sprees like the one depicted actually happen, but that the truth is they are carried out by teenagers like Cal and Andre...normal kids with normal families. By using a hand held camera technique a la Blair Witch, Ben Coccio succeeds in bringing us into the lives of two friends who have some issues with high school, although we aren't ever told exactly what is behind those issues. They seem to be typical -a lot of people hate high school, so what? A part of you just doesn't believe they will ever carry out the very well thought out massacre on Zero Day. The surveillance camera scenes in the school during the shooting are made all the more powerful for that reason. You can't believe it's really happening, and that it's really happened. The hand held camera technique also creates the illusion that this is not a scripted movie, a brilliant idea given the subject matter.
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9/10
One of the better "found footage" films out there.
RepublicofE20 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is loosely "based on" the CHS shooting in much the same way that Citizen Kane is based on the life of William Hearst and 8 Mile is based on Eminem's life story. There are numerous allusions to the actual CHS shootings that someone who hasn't researched it might not get but that you will most likely notice if you have researched it. Nevertheless, the film is clearly set in a universe where Columbine never happened as the shooting in this film is their version of Columbine.

For the uninitiated, before the shooting, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold made several home videos, including the Rampart Range video, Hit men for Hire, and the unreleased "Basement Tapes". These serve as the inspiration for the film.

But making it a found footage film was more than just a cheap ploy to connect it to the CHS shooting while at the same time keeping the budget low (though it certainly did do that). Ben Coccio was masterful at using this technique to control information flow to the audience. The film starts after the two shooters have already made the decision to carry out Zero Day, so we never see the process of them actually debating and deciding to do it. Just like how we don't really know anything about the conversations between Harris and Klebold that lead up to the massacre before they started writing their journals. We know Andre and Cal have been bullied, but to what extent and how much that contributed remains mysterious, just like with the actual CHS shooters. We never even see life inside the school until the actual shooting. No videos of Andre and Cal being bullied and not even one based on the video Eric Harris made inside CHS. In fact we never even get the name of the school in this movie. It's just "our school, located in our town." I'm sure Ben Coccio thought about giving it a name but instead decided to make it a conscious omission. Which serves two purposes, one, to remind us that this could happen anywhere in America, even in your own town, and also to keep us feeling enclosed in their world.

And that feeling of being enclosed in their world is skillfully played throughout the whole film. The only time we are really taken out of it is in the prom video when one of the shooters is gone and his classmates are discussing them behind their backs. Even after the shooting is over we still have that feeling of enclosure. It would have been so easy and tempting for Ben Coccio to have made the last video simply be a news bulletin with "At approximately 10:30 this morning two shooters opened fire at XX high school in XX county, XX state. At least 14 are confirmed dead including the perpetrators bla bla boa." Instead we get another home video, this time by some people vandalizing the shooters' crosses at the memorial, and they mention the media once in passing and we see a glance of a news van but that's about the only connection to the outside world. Therefore the last video gives you not the feeling of being an outsider looking into this scene, but still being inside this world with the outside world looking in.

Another thing: if this really happened and these videos were released to the public, the faces of all the extras would be censored and so would certain names. But they aren't. Therefore this film simulates not only how it would be in real life, but how an insider would see them in real life. Therefore my recommendation for viewing this is to imagine you live in this film's universe and you are the sheriff of the county where this happened (remember for you Columbine never happened) and you are viewing all this footage for the first time as part of the investigation and imagine how you would react and then imagine how the actual Jefferson County Sheriff may have reacted.
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8/10
Very Convincing!
Danii Disaster3 May 2013
A very realistic, well-executed movie. It does feel like actual footage, rather than an edited mocumentary (for the latter see "Grave Encounters").

Unfortunately, the scenes where the killings take place, is only about 2% of the movie (about 5 minutes or something). That was the only thing I didn't like in this film.

I saw another documentary based on the Columbine massacre -- the guys' interactions with the victims were documented, and the killings were very graphic. Sadly, none of that is present in "Zero Day".

All we get, is a bad quality security camera recording, from only 2 rooms, which, like I said, lasts only about 5 minutes. And they only attack a few people, and we don't actually the attacks, but rather *hear* the gun shots. Boring. No shooting with the police, either.

The culmination was mediocre at best... I was very disappointed, but the rest of the movie was pretty good. The actors are surprisingly natural and convincing (one can't usually expect good acting in the found-footage genre, so I was pleasantly surprised).

It's not *perfect*, and it does drag a bit, but these are minor factors that don't really spoil the movie as such. The film really feels real, the actors are superb, and the camera work is good (not annoying, like in "Blair Which" or "Cloverfield").

All in all, I'd say it's definitely one of the best in this genre.
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