When you become a director, you sign a contract that says you won’t reference Paganism unless you make it alarmingly weird and terrifying. Anyone remember The Wickerman and more recently, Midsommar?
MustWatch recently met some pagans at Stonehenge who were perfectly pleasant. But guess what? Sky is going back to stereotypes with its new horror series, The Third Day, in which Jude Law is looking distressed – whilst painfully pretty, obviously. He finds himself trapped on Osea island, surrounded by weird and sometimes terrifying locals who sacrifice rabbits and wave guns about. And what’s a tortured protagonist without apparitions of their dead son and some fluorescent grasshoppers?
It’s a high impact series, if a bit jarring. Some of the acting is overplayed, the overexposed lighting tries (and fails) to be artsy, and as much as we love him, nobody needs that many close-up shots of Jude Law’s furrowed brow. The make-up artist must have been exhausted from the constant re-sweating of Law’s forehead. Worth mentioning, though, is the theatrical way the series is presented. The six episodes are split into two seasons, Summer and Winter, and there will also be an additional episode on the 3rd of October, where the cast will live stream from the island from 9pm to 9am. Will it end up as an innovative theatrical masterpiece, or more like a live EastEnders special?
This innovation might not be for everyone, says The Telegraph’s Anita Singh: “Few but the most dedicated of Jude Law fans will have the time or inclination to sit through all of that.” However, she may just be a closeted member of the Jude fandom, as she did give this show a four-star review. Another four stars came from The Times’ James Jackson, who calls it “this season’s most extraordinary mystery series.” The Guardian’s Lucy Mangan isn’t as convinced. She says: “If your tolerance for hooded figures, landladies who look deep into guests’ eyes and make gnomic pronouncements about grief… is higher than mine you will doubtless enjoy.”
Whatever the reviews, we applaud the inventiveness of The Third Day.
First shown September 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.