The Day of the Triffids Movie Review
The Day of the Triffids is a 1962 British science fiction horror film directed by Steve Sekeley and starring Howard Keel and Nicole Maurey. It is a solid, if very flawed sci-fi flick.
It is basically a disaster story where a meteor shower brings blindness to people as well as an aggressive species of plants that start to terrorize everyone. The story is typical for these types of movies, but is legitimately well executed and rarely too campy, just in a couple of scenes. I really enjoyed this premise. Even though it is typical in many ways, it is still very original for having plants as aliens and as a threat. That was interesting and different than usual.
But it still contains way too many unfortunate plot points including the ending which was obviously an influence on Shyamalan’s ‘Signs’. It turns out that sea water can kill these plants and it is a very mediocre choice. It isn’t as bad as the aforementioned movie, but it is still a contrived plot device.
I liked the beginning and I liked that it follows two groups of people and even though they aren’t the most memorable characters, they are still solidly developed for such a short screen time that they’ve got. Bill Masen is typical, but quite memorable and I liked Susan quite a bit. and Tom and Karen are quite a solid couple, but it still annoyed me that the female characters here were so weak and they screamed way too much.
The Day of the Triffids is mostly well filmed with some rather solid special effects for the time. The Triffids look quite good owing to some solid make-up. The horror elements are quite good as well, but unfortunately never particularly scary. And it went into campy territory at times, but fortunately it was rare and not as much as it easily could have been.
The action is well executed and the film is genuinely entertaining and fun. It is very well paced, solidly directed and acted and the structure of the movie is good with just the right amount of action, disaster as well as horror elements. As science fiction, it is solid, but lacking as there wasn’t enough science here for me.
Let’s talk about that ending. As is typical for the science fiction movies of that time, The Day of the Triffids ended on a very preachy, religious note. And it wasn’t bad, but I still didn’t like it as much as I liked the ending of ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’ because that ending felt more natural whereas this one was somewhat forced and contrived as is the entire third act. It just felt too aggressive and frankly out of place in this movie. But overall, I liked this movie for what it was and although it is far from the best that 1960s science fiction has to offer, it is still a solid piece of entertainment with its fair share of memorable parts.