Clayton (Josiah David Warren) is the religious kid who everyone dreads getting in to a conversation with. He’s the type of kid who accepts a ride from one of his friends and then starts to give everyone a hard time for drinking and driving and….
Actually, wait a minute …. drinking and driving sucks!
So, Clayton is actually totally correct to tell his friends to put down the beer cans while they’re driving. They, of course, just laugh him off and call him “church boy.” One accident later, Clayton’s friend is dead and Clayton is more determined than ever to go down to Mexico and do missionary work. Everyone tells him that it’s dangerous to go down to Mexico. Everyone knows that Clayton’s father died while serving as a missionary. But Clayton and another group of friends still head down to Mexico.
Unfortunately, it turns out that Clayton’s other friends may not be drunk drivers but they’re still not all that interested in evangelizing in Mexico. They especially get angry when Clayton insists that they accompany him to the local church. Clayton finally gets annoyed with all of them and he decides to wander off on his own. Of course, that’s always a mistake. No sooner has Clayton turned down the wrong street than he’s been kidnapped.
Clayton finds himself tied up in an old barn and being held prisoner by a group of human traffickers. They’re convinced that Clayton is rich and they continually call his mother and demand that she send them some money. Meanwhile, Clayton soon realizes that he’s not the only person behind held prisoner in the barn. He also comes to realize that the desert surrounding the barn is full of dead bodies.
Noticing that his kidnappers are always drinking and smoking, Clayton tells them that they shouldn’t. When they demand to know why not, Clayton quotes Corinthians. That goes over about as well as you might expect.
Seven Days Away attempts to mix the faith-based genre with the action genre. When Clayton isn’t preaching or quoting the Bible, he’s running through the desert and trying not to get shot. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t really work as an action film. The film uses some hand-held camerawork to try to generate some suspense but, at this point, the whole hand-held thing is such a cliché that it actually inspires more laughs than gasps of terror. The soundtrack is remarkably muddy and it’s often difficult to understand just what exactly anyone is saying. Even by the standards of the low-budget faith genre, the acting is amateurish. As a film, it just doesn’t come together. The fact that the film’s director also played the lead role was perhaps a bit of the problem. It’s hard not to feel the film would have had a better chance at success if he had just concentrated on doing one thing as opposed to everything.
I guess the best thing you can say about a film like this is that it was well-intentioned. Watching it brought back memories of the days leading up to Spring Break, when the campus would be full of stories about students who got drunk while partying in Mexico and subsequently vanished. I have to admit that I never had a lot of sympathy for the students in those stories. Sometimes, you just have to use a little common sense.