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Seasons of the Witch: A TIFF Review of ‘The Third Day’

September 11, 2020Ben MK

Originally scheduled to debut this past summer, The Third Day was but one of the many film and television productions postponed due to the current pandemic. Now, ahead of its premiere later this month, audiences finally have the chance to get a sneak peak at HBO's experimental new series.

A six-part tale blending traditional storytelling with interactive elements, the series is divided into two halves. The first half — titled "Summer" — follows Sam (Jude Law), while the second half — titled "Winter" — follows Helen (Naomie Harris). What links both halves together, though, is their setting of Osea island. Accessible only by causeway and steeped in the traditions of a bygone era, Osea seems to have all the trappings of an idyllic weekend retreat. However, as Sam and Helen soon learn, appearances can be downright deadly. And when these mainlanders find themselves stranded on the island with no means of communicating with the outside world, only one question remains — will Osea's residents let them go once they've discovered their sinister secret?

To find that out, viewers will just have to tune in for themselves. In the meantime, creators Felix Barrett and Dennis Kelly are teasing a mystery of Wicker Man proportions, though only time will tell if the rest of the series lives up to those expectations in earnest.

The Third Day screens under the Primetime programme at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 57 min.

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