Donal lives a simple enough life. He spends his days in the tiny Northern Irish village where he’s always lived, tending to his fields and his aging mother, maybe letting off a little steam at the local pub or taking care of his restored camper van for fun. That’s enough, that would be enough, but in Chris Baugh’s Sundance premiere, “Bad Day for the Cut,” well, that’s just not how things shake out.
Baugh’s feature debut will soon bow at the annual festival, and with it, a twisted revenge tale of a man driven to the absolute brink. Nigel O’Neill stars as Donal, a man whose entire life and sense of self is upended when his mother is violently taken from him. He soon embarks on a revenge-fueled trip to the big city, and what he finds there seems poised to shock everyone, from Donal to Baugh’s own audience.
As the filmmaker explains in his director’s statement, when he and his co-screenwriter Brendan Mullin “sat down to write ‘Bad Day for the Cut’ we wanted to tell a story that would be authentic to where we grew up but also have the momentum of the best genre thrillers. We came up with something we feel is a fresh take on the revenge thriller but also a deeply personal character study of what can happen to a man when blind loyalty overtakes everything else.”
He added, “As it was my first feature, I wanted to be ambitious with this film. Even though it’s a low-budget indie movie we decided to aim for a big cast, a lot of locations, stunts, SFX and a million other things they tell you not to do in a film like this. It was hugely important to me that Donal’s journey have scope and we were able to achieve that through meticulous planning and working with the best crew that Northern Ireland has to offer.”
Ultimately, Baugh promises an “intense, funny and visceral ride in the way only a thriller can do.” Those are ideas that seem to be at the forefront of the film’s first poster, which teases a retro-styled revenge tale with one man — and his gun — at the center of it all. Check out our exclusive poster below.
“Bad Day for the Cut” will have its world premiere at Sundance on Sunday, January 22. You can find out more information about festival screenings right here.